A great deal of stress has been alleviated for the staff at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.
Now that the Progressive Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular has been successfully pulled off, the preparation and anticipation leading up to the event made it all seem worthwhile. According to Kurt Silcott, ice arena chief executive officer, all of his employees have been putting in extra hours.
"I don't think any one of our staff has put in under 60 hours this past week," said Silcott. "Our maintenance crew was going crazy getting all of the logistics set up. I know our ticketing people, our front desk people and our accounts people have been working really hard the past two weeks to make sure this comes off without a hitch."
Olympic gymnast Gabrielle Douglas performs during the Progressive Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular on Saturday evening at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.
P-J photo by Scott Reagle
Although the stage, lighting and camera crews started setting up between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, the majority of the prep work specific to the arena staff has taken place over the past two weeks.
The bulk of the work surrounding the preparation of the arena for the event was taken care of by NBC crews and Disson Skating, the organization which sponsors the event, arena staff members had their own share of the work.
"The folks at Disson handled a great portion (of the work)," said Silcott. "And as far as dealing with NBC, it was just making sure the cameras, positions and spots were right. Our staff did a great job of getting everything organized and set up with no hitches. Most of the concern was with TV trucks, where to put them, getting power to the right places and enough of it. We had to rent a generator because our power could only handle so much, but other than that it's been well run on all parts. They came in with an organized plan and our people here were able to pull it off."
According to Silcott, Steve Disson, who owns Disson Skating, decided to bring the event to Jamestown on the recommendation of Roger Conner, a part-time Chautauqua County resident and long-time friend of Disson's. An initial site visit was made before Disson agreed to bring the Spectacular to Jamestown and, since then, many months have gone into making it a reality.
"It's been in the works for at least a year," said Silcott. "We were contacted and the next thing you know, we started talking about doing it, then they came down for the site visit and said, 'Sure, let's do it.' We did a little negotiation with the sponsorship packages but working with Steve Disson and his group has been absolutely great and wonderful. I think Jamestown has done itself proud with a sold-out event, which they were very pleased about, and no major issues on our end or his end."
A HIT SHOW
Audience members were enjoying the different sights and sounds the show had to offer. Some came to hear the musical acts, which included the Fresh Beat Band and R5, and ended up enjoying the rest of the show just as much.
"I'll be honest with you, we came to see the Fresh Beat Band and it's way better than I thought it would be," said Melissa Himes, who was with her sons, Julian and Hudson. "And even the boys (are enjoying it), (Julian) didn't want to see the gymnastics and ice skating and now he's saying, 'I want to be a gymnast.' And (Hudson) just loves it."
"I have a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old here," said Carrie Fidurko. "They're waiting for the Fresh Beat Band and they seem to be enjoying it so far. I'm having a good time, it's nice. It's neat to know that it's going to be televised and to be a part of this."
Others enjoyed watching the program for its namesake, as world-renowned Olympic gymnasts and ice-skaters showcased their talents to a sold-out crowd.
"I really liked it because there were so many lights and I loved how there were so many people doing cool tricks," said Maggie O'Connell, 9. "When I was watching the show, they kept saying stuff about the ice skaters and gymnasts and it was really cool to hear about them."
In the aftermath of the show, several hours of work will be needed to get things back to normal at the arena. No programs were scheduled today for Arena A while the skating and gymnastics event equipment is disassembled, leaving only Arena B functional. Adult hockey was also cancelled for today.
Silcott hopes to have Arena A running again early next week, as the Jamestown Ironmen return after an extended road trip to take on the Kalamazoo K-Wings at home on Friday and Saturday.
"It's going to take a while," he said. "It's a lot of work getting this stuff back out of here and loading the trucks. They're going to start after the show tonight and pick it up again first thing in the morning. We hope to be up and running again with two pads by Tuesday or Wednesday."
And with the 2012 Progressive Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular behind him, Silcott is already looking at the possibility of hosting the event again.
"Overall, I'd say it's a coup for a city as small as Jamestown to have an event as big as this," he said. "I challenge you to go around the country and find another arena in a city this small that had an event this big. We're very pleased. We're glad we were able to pull it off and we're talking about trying to get them to come back. I think everyone here on our staff did a great job and I think the city represented itself very well, so thumbs up all around."