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May 17, 2024

Simone Biles, USA Gymnastics stars compete in Hartford this weekend

Courtesy Photo The 2024 Core Hydration Classic is at the XL Center in Hartford May 17-18.

USA Gymnastics could draw thousands to Hartford this weekend as the country’s top athletes visit for a national competition, and stakeholders expect the event to generate almost $2 million in revenue.

USA Gymnastics’ 2024 Core Hydration Classic is taking place today and Saturday, May 18, at the XL Center in downtown Hartford. Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau President Robert Murdock said he estimates the two-day event will result in $1.8 million for the state between hotel stays, shopping and dining, including an expected $65,000 in state sales tax.

He also said he expects 635 regional hospitality jobs will be supported by the competition, which will see three U.S. Olympic All-Around Gold medalists competing head-to-head for the first time in the country’s history. Gymnasts Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles and Sunisa Lee are expected to compete.

Coinciding with the event is a two-day restaurant and shop discount program for people with tickets to the competition and a fan fest Saturday on Pratt Street. 

Participating restaurants include: XL Center Sports Bar on the corner of Church and Ann Uccello streets; Banh Meee, 126 Ann Uccello St.; Connecticut's Old State House, 800 Main St.; Emrey's Specialty Sweets & Sodas, 196 Trumbull St.; Gentle Bull Shop, 45 Pratt St.; Hartford Prints!, 42½ Pratt St.; The Brownstone, 114 Asylum St.; The Place 2 Be Downtown, 5 Constitution Plaza; and Sunberry Restaurant and Bar, 65 Pratt St.

The fan fest on Pratt Street is set for noon to 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. It includes yard games and a DJ, organizers said. Tickets for the event are available online.

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