U.S. Figure Skating Invites 15 of the World's Top Skaters to 2004 Campbell's Classic

Tickets for the St. Paul event go on sale Aug. 2

Johnny Weir
Photo by Paul Harvath

(8/2/04) - On Oct. 1, St. Paul, Minn., will welcome 15 of the world's top figure skaters to compete in the Campbell's International Figure Skating Classic, the first major Olympic-eligible event of the season. The one-day competition will be held at the Xcel Energy Center at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are now on sale.

The ladies field will be led by five-time World and eight-time U.S. champion Michelle Kwan, and World silver medalist Sasha Cohen, both of whom have confirmed their appearance at the competition. Cohen won gold at the 2003 Campbell's Classic, while Kwan took the silver. The other six ladies invited to compete include World champion Shizuka Arakawa from Japan, Olympic silver medalist Irina Slutskaya from Russia, World fourth-place finisher Miki Ando from Japan, World fifth-place finisher Carolina Kostner from Italy, U.S. bronze medalist Jennifer Kirk and U.S. fourth-place finisher Amber Corwin.

World champion Evgeny Plushenko from Russia will look to defend his 2003 Campbell's Classic title among a strong field of seven invited skaters in the men's field. U.S. champion Johnny Weir leads the three Americans, also consisting of Olympic bronze medalist Timothy Goebel and World Junior silver medalist Evan Lysacek. Rounding out the field are World silver medalist Brian Joubert from France, two-time World bronze medalist Takeshi Honda from Japan and ISU Grand Prix Final champion Emanuel Sandhu from Canada.

Tickets for the Campbell's International Figure Skating Classic go on sale Monday, Aug. 2, at 11 a.m., and are available at the Xcel Energy Center Box Office, at all Ticketmaster locations, through charge by phone at 651.989.5151 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Reserved seats will be priced at $60, $46.75, $31.75 and $21.75. Group discounts are available, call 651.312.3486 for more information. The event will be nationally broadcast by ABC Sports on Oct. 10 from 1-3 p.m. EST.

At the Campbell's Classic, skaters will compete for $200,000 of prize money, part of a first-time $600,000 pot up for grabs at three linked events throughout the 2004-05 season. The introduction of prize money marks an investment by U.S. Figure Skating to increase the level of competition and intensity at the events. Each athlete will perform one free skate in front of an international panel of five judges. Prize money will then be allocated to the top six finishers in ladies and the top six finishers in men's:

First Place - $50,000
Second Place - $25,000
Third Place - $15,000
Fourth Place - $5,000
Fifth Place - $3,000
Sixth Place - $2,000

The three events to award $200,000 each are the Campbell's International Figure Skating Classic in St. Paul, Minn., on Oct. 1; the Marshalls World Cup of Figure Skating in Auburn Hills, Mich., on Dec. 3; and the Marshalls International Figure Skating Challenge, location and date to be announced at a later date.

Invited Skaters

Ladies
Miki Ando (JPN) - 2004 World Championships, 4th; 2004 World Junior champion
Shizuka Arakawa (JPN) - 2004 World champion; two-time Japanese champion
Sasha Cohen (USA) - 2004 World silver medalist, three-time U.S. silver medalist
Amber Corwin (USA) - 2004 Four Continents bronze medalist; 2004 U.S. Championships, 4th
Jennifer Kirk (USA) - 2004 U.S. bronze medalist; 2002 Four Continents champion
Carolina Kostner (ITA) - 2004 World Championships, 5th; 2003 Italian champion
Michelle Kwan (USA) - Five-time World champion; eight-time U.S. champion
Irina Slutskaya (RUS) - 2002 World champion; 2002 Olympic silver medalist

MEN
Timothy Goebel (USA) - Two-time World silver medalist; 2002 Olympic bronze medalist
Takeshi Honda (JPN) - Two-time World bronze medalist; four-time Japanese champion
Brian Joubert (FRA) - 2004 World silver medalist; 2004 European champion
Evan Lysacek (USA) - 2004 World Junior silver medalist; 2004 Four Continents bronze medalist
Evgeny Plushenko (RUS) - Three-time World champion; 2002 Olympic silver medalist
Emanuel Sandhu (CAN) - 2004 ISU Grand Prix Final champion; three-time Canadian champion
Johnny Weir (USA) - 2004 U.S. champion; 2004 World Championships, 5th

*All skaters subject to change.