Evan Lysacek to appear with skaters who have compiled 18 Olympic medals and more than 60 world championships
BY JERRY MILANI
Champions from the past seven decades will be on the ice when The Caesar's Tribute figure skating exhibition hits Boardwalk Hall Arena in Atlantic City on December 11, featuring American stars from Dick Button (Englewood, N.J.) all the way to 2010 Vancouver Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek. Between them, the 20 members of the one-night-only cast, which also includes such notables as Brian Boitano, Scott Hamilton, Rudy Galindo, Kristi Yamaguchi, Sarah Hughes, Nancy Kerrigan and Debi Thomas, have compiled 18 Olympic medals and more than 60 world championships.
The exhibition will be the greatest collection of American skaters ever, according to Jerry Solomon, president and CEO of StarGames, a Massachusetts-based sports marketing agency bringing the event to the Garden State.
"This event is completely different from other skating shows," said Solomon. "From all the way back to Dick Button and Tenley Albright, up to current skaters like Evan Lysacek and Kimmie Meissner, the whole positioning of our event is different than anything that is out there. We really want to show the linkage of the American skating past to today."
Bringing the event to Atlantic City was a product of StarGames' multi-year partnership with Harrah's on a tennis exhibition, the BNP Paribas Showdown, continuing this February at Madison Square Garden with the biggest names in the sport, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl.
"We had had numerous discussions with Harrah's about their desire to bring new events, new entertainment to Atlantic City," explained Solomon. "We agreed, thought it was a great idea, and we really felt the commitment there to build and rebuild business, to show that Atlantic City is more than a one-night town."
It started with a turnout of more than 7,000 fans at Boardwalk Hall in April for a tennis exhibition similar to the MSG showdown, which, according to Solomon, is the biggest crowd ever in the city for tennis, a feat he hopes to duplicate for skating on the 11th.
The event will be televised nationally on NBC on Christmas Day.