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Old 11-28-2017, 12:00 PM
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Default St. Catharines eyeing 2020 Brier Championships

City has 2020 vision for Brier Championship
By Karena Walter, The Standard
Monday, November 27, 2017 11:53


With the success of the Scotties in the rearview mirror, St. Catharines councillors are putting their support and money behind a bid for the 2020 men’s national curling championship.

The 10-day Brier Championships brings teams from 15 provinces and territories to the host city and have an estimated impact of $12 million to $15 million, council heard Monday.

St. Catharines Golf and Country Club asked council to partner on the bid by waiving fees, giving financial support and helping with planning and building a “Brier Patch” outdoor entertainment venue downtown.

“We see these expenses as an investment that pays considerable reward and brings a spotlight onto our community,” said Doug Geddie, one of the bid organizers from St. Catharines Golf and Country Club.

“We know from the Scotties we can be gracious, organized and welcoming hosts. We’d like you to consider partnering with us to do it again for an even bigger event.”

The Scotties Tournament of Hearts — the national women’s curling championship — was held at Meridian Centre in February and drew 60,000 spectators over 10 days.

Geddie said spectators purchased $800,000 in tickets and 60 per cent came from outside of Niagara.

The city got 65 hours of national exposure on TSN and the event had an estimated $9- to 12-million impact, with hotels and restaurants experiencing sellouts, he said.

What didn’t go well, he said, was a shortfall in provincial grants and a lack of expected crowds at the Heart Stop Lounge, set up at the club for entertainment but which wasn’t within walking distance.

That experience led organizers of this bid to come up with a plan for entertainment for the Briers closer to Meridian Centre.

Geddie said a bid city must have a plan for hosting a Brier Patch — an area for food, beverages and bands that can accommodate up to 2,000 fans. The club is pitching a Brier Patch downtown in the parking lot at 123 St. Paul St. across from the Rankin Bridge to Meridian Centre.

The plan would include closing part of St. Paul Street between William and James streets for a street party. Geddie said the St. Catharines Downtown Association has give a letter of support for the bid.

The application bid must be in by the end of the year.

St. Catharines council unanimously endorsed the bid and approved the club’s request for waiving $202,660 in fees for use of Meridian Centre for six setup days and 10 event days.

It also referred the club’s request for $225,000 in three $75,000 instalments for event marketing and promotion to the city’s budget standing committee.

Sal Sorrento said he was told Meridian Centre made $200,000 in food and beverage sales during the Scotties.

“This event will pay for itself and we’ll get a little extra back hopefully,” he said.

Mayor Walter Sendzik said the amount of coverage the municipality got on TSN for the Scotties — which it also gave $225,000 to — was impressive.

“When you look at TSN coverage and what it would cost to advertise a city ad on TSN for the six days would far surpass $225,000.”

Grantham Coun. Bill Phillips said other than major league baseball or hockey playoffs, the Brier is as big as it gets.

“It’s huge,” he said. “For a city, it’s national exposure. Everybody who went to the Scotties realized how much fun it is and it’s good for the community.”

He said a lot of curling clubs gained new members because of the Scotties.
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Old 11-28-2017, 11:01 PM
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Fantastic news.
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Old 11-28-2017, 11:27 PM
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Typically that event is held during the first two weeks of March... that will send the IceDogs on the road for a long haul at the end of the season. Course if 18-19 is a "go for it" year then 19-20 won't have much in the tank anyhow...
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Old 11-28-2017, 11:37 PM
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Great news
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Old 11-29-2017, 07:47 PM
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Typically that event is held during the first two weeks of March... that will send the IceDogs on the road for a long haul at the end of the season. Course if 18-19 is a "go for it" year then 19-20 won't have much in the tank anyhow...
I get your point and it is valid that displacing the Dogs for 2 weeks is a detriment to a season.

As a local tax payer and life long capitalist, I want this event for the City.
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Old 11-29-2017, 11:42 PM
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I get your point and it is valid that displacing the Dogs for 2 weeks is a detriment to a season.

As a local tax payer and life long capitalist, I want this event for the City.
As a person who lives in his parents basement somewhere other than St.Kitts, I want you to keep paying taxes for my amusement. Sounds like it will be a fun street party and Ice Dogs will be drafting first that year
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Old 11-30-2017, 08:27 PM
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As a person who lives in his parents basement somewhere other than St.Kitts, I want you to keep paying taxes for my amusement.
My pleasure!

Hope you buy something when you are in town.
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Old 12-01-2017, 02:10 AM
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My pleasure!

Hope you buy something when you are in town.
Beer is a certainty
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:59 PM
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Perfect. Every dollar of economic activity is appreciated.
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