“You may notice some things have changed since we last hosted this great event in 2008,” St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman wrote in a welcome letter featured in the program for this weekend’s U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Xcel Energy Center.
Sure, St. Paul has changed with new restaurants, light-rail transit and a baseball park, but not as much as the event’s program implied with a photograph of the Stone Arch Bridge next to Coleman’s letter and his photo.
The Stone Arch Bridge is nowhere near downtown St. Paul; it crosses the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis, about 10 miles from where the skating event is happening.
The mayor, accustomed to the perception of St. Paul being the lesser of the Twin Cities, rolled with it. He tweeted Friday, under his handle @MayorColeman, a photo of the goof, writing, “Our plans to take over @cityminneapolis have been compromised.”
U.S. Figure Skating spokeswoman Renee Felton said the mistake was an “honest and unfortunate one” that meant no disrespect to St. Paul, which has been a warm host city.
“We have highlighted the beauty of the city in the U.S. championships’ look and feel with the Capitol building featured prominently on the logo, signage and graphics,” she said, adding that viewers should look for scenes from St. Paul in the 10 hours of television coverage on NBC over the next two weekends.