Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

YMCA to bring gymnastics nationals to Tampa

TAMPA — Tampa Bay Sports Commission executive director Rob Higgins and his staff hosted a group from the national YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) committee back in January while the exploratory team was on the hunt for a location to accommodate the 2014 national championships.

And they flipped for Tampa.

The Y-USA announced last week that Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA has been selected to co-host the 2014 championships next June.

"Our community has a strong affinity for staging premier youth and amateur gymnastics events," Higgins said. "To be able to host a special event of this caliber is going to continue to enhance our gymnastics tradition."

The three-day competition will take place June 3-5 at the Tampa Convention Center. There will also be an Olympic-style opening ceremony June 2 at an undetermined site.

"It's a huge honor and very exciting news to be chosen as the host for this amazing event," said Tom Looby, president and chief executive officer of the Tampa YMCA. "We look forward to working with the Sarasota Y, Y-USA, Tampa Bay & Co. and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission to plan and host such a spectacular event with promising outcomes to the greater Tampa Bay area."

Higgins felt there was "a combination of factors" that led to the Y-USA selecting Tampa as the host site for just the third time. The city also hosted the national championships in 1990 and 1993 and it's the first time the event has returned to the Sunshine State in 21 years.

"I think it had to do with the hospitality they experienced while on their trip and the way the community embraced them and the sport of gymnastics," he said. "And then you have the Tampa Convention Center and the strong reputation of the local YMCAs. It was a blend of factors and we are excited to be a part of it."

The event is expected to draw about 2,000 gymnasts and their families to the Tampa Bay area and the economic impact projects out at about $4.5 million.

Higgins said that with local restaurants typically lagging in the summer, this is a perfect time to bring in additional revenue.

"The timing of it couldn't be better," he said. "This will bring an infusion right at the time when it's needed most."

Brandon Wright can be reached at

YMCA to bring gymnastics nationals to Tampa 06/22/13 [Last modified: Friday, June 21, 2013 3:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Volkov hopes to prove his surprise selection right


    RW Alexander Volkov was not a particularly talked-about player in the lead up to the NHL entry draft.

  2. Competition and uncertainty keep New Port Richey's Steve Miklos hooked on power boat racing


    HOLIDAY — If Steve Miklos could have it his way, every power boat race would take place in rough water. He finds the turbulent conditions calming, an attitude he's developed during a professional power boat racing career that spans hundreds of races dating back to 1991.

    Steve Miklos, the throttle man and owner of the No. 51 Sun Print Racing boat, poses at his shop in Holiday. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Did a Cubs player give Trump the middle finger during a White House visit?


    President Donald Trump welcomed former Rays manager Joe Maddon and the World Series champion Chicago Cubs into the Oval Office. But it was a photo that surfaced later that got much of the attention on …

    President Donald Trump welcomed former Rays manager Joe Maddon and the World Series champion Chicago Cubs into the Oval Office. But it was a photo that surfaced later that got much of the attention on social media.
The photo, taken by Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, purportedly shows outfielder Albert Almora Jr. flipping a bird while standing just feet from Trump as the other players were gathered around his desk. [Gordon Wittenmyer via Twitter]
  4. Jeff Vinik contributing $6 million to fund Lightning's practice facility upgrade


    With free agency beginning Saturday, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman will have another selling point in the courting process.

    The plan will create a brand new locker room and training facilities for the team, an 18,000 square foot addition.
  5. Buccaneers defense was among NFL's best when its pressure got to the QB


    It doesn't matter how many times they've thrown a football. It doesn't matter how many seasons they've played. It doesn't matter whether they have a degree from Harvard or Central Florida.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy recorded 6.5 sacks last season, but many of his other contributions didn't show up in the box scores. [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times]