For the first time in more than a decade, London, Ont., Will host the Tim Hortons Brier.
Officials with Curling Canada announced Monday that the annual Canadian Men’s Curling Championships will return to Forest City in 2023.
The multi-day event will be played from March 3 to March 12 at Budweiser Gardens.
The London Arena in the city center hosted the Brier in 2011, when it was named the John Labatt Center. London was first presented in 1974 when the Brier was held in London Gardens, the southern arena later called the London Ice House, before closing in 2002.
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Curling Canada CEO Katherine Henderson said at a virtual media conference on Monday morning that choosing a host for the 2023 event was “a much easier decision” made because of London’s “outstanding” bid for the post.
“It’s a great city, they knock it out of the park every time they host a sporting event,” Henderson said.
“We’ve worked with them before … they’re proven to us over and over that they know how to do it and they know how to do it very well.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has set aside countless opportunities for personal sporting events, with Ontario’s latest restrictions preventing fans from attending matches for most of January. In 2023, Henderson says Curling Canada plans for a “full Brier.”
“We always take public health advice, we always play the game as safely as we can, but at this point, with Canada’s commitment to public health, our vaccine rates and what we are currently seeing with highs, we are quite confident. that we’re going to have a great time coming to London, ”Henderson added.
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“The plan at this point is that we want to party together in that spot.”
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Canadian Curling Hall of Famer Peter Inch played a crucial role in sweeping London to another chance to host the Brier.
“We’ve been working on this bid since 2012. We talked about it and determined when would be the best year to have it and how we can make it all work out,” Inch said.
“The Continental Cups (in 2018 and 2020) were some of what I call ‘steps’ we had to take before we were confident to make that bid again.”
Tourism London also supported the city’s bid. The director of sports tourism, Zanth Jarvis, says the Brier will bring a much-needed business, given the financial toll of the pandemic.
“Alone, for the participants in Curling Canada, there are 2 200 hotel rooms right there. “We are looking at a projected economic impact between $ 8 million and $ 10 million,” Jarvis said.
“This one event will not be all the recovery, it’s going to take a while, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.”
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Tickets, including full event packages, are expected to go on sale in the coming weeks, according to Curling Canada.
The organization says volunteer opportunities will also be available later this year and those interested are invited to visit Curling Canada Volunteer Website to sign up for updates on volunteering at the 2023 Brier.
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