FIFA Women's World Cup fans forced to book hotels far from Winnipeg
Winnipeg hotels booked solid, sending fans to Portage, Steinbach
It's not just Winnipeg hotels that are booked solid for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup of Soccer.
Fans have been reduced to searching for rooms as far afield as Portage la Prairie and Steinbach.
That may make things difficult for those keen on the beautiful game. But it is keeping hoteliers very happy.
Jim Baker heads up the Manitoba Hotels Association. He says hotels in Winnipeg booked up months ago and teams, officials and fans all need places to stay.
The games, Baker says, will have a huge impact on tourism.
"Way bigger for the city of Winnipeg and Manitoba in terms of tourism than Junos or even the Grey Cup," he said.
"I mean the Grey Cup is one game, right? For sure, the Grey Cup fills up downtown. It's a great event, but this is even longer, so, Hallelujah."
Winnipeg's Investors Group Field is to host seven games in the championship from June 6 to July 5, involving Sweden, Nigeria, the United States, Australia, Thailand, German, China, New Zealand, Ecuador and Japan.
Organizers are expecting a big influx of visitors for the two U.S. games — against Australia on June 8 and Sweden on June 12 — with demand further boosted bya low Canadian dollar. Games also take place in Winnipeg on June 15 and 16.
And there may be a last-minute rush for tickets on the part of people keen to see a top-class sporting event.
"Now what's happening is those people that are buying tickets at the last minute," Baker said. "They're thinking of doing this while they're on vacation, they're looking for space and you know it's filled up pretty much."