Pacific Rim countries coming to Everett for Olympic-qualifying gymnastics tourney

EVERETT — The super-secret sports event expected to attract thousands of people to Everett next year is the Pacific Rim Gymnastic Championships, a top-tier event that draws some of the best gymnasts in the world.

The event is expected to generate between $2 million and $3 million for the Sno

homish County economy.

The competition, scheduled for March 16-18 at Comcast Arena, is one of the events that determine which athletes will compete on the U.S. Olympic team in the 2012 Summer Games in London.

The event happens every two years and is open to top gymnasts from the United States, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia and other nations within the Pacific Rim.

Officials put the event on par with Skate America, which came to Comcast in 2008. That event had an estimated $3 million impact on the county. Thousands of fans flooded the city, and a record 29,000 tickets were sold.

This event also would put Everett directly in the world’s spotlight, drawing an army of international media to Snohomish County and worldwide television viewership.

The nature of the event was being kept under wraps pending a news conference next week, but word leaked out Thursday.

Debra Smith: 425-339-3197; dsmith@heraldnet.com.

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