The New Brunswick government will help a world sporting event slide into Moncton next year, with a $200,000 contribution.
The money will be used to renovate the Moncton Coliseum, which will host the 50th anniversary of the 2009 Ford World Men's Curling Championship in April.
Even though the cost of putting on the event is high, organizers said the city and province stands to gain a whole lot more.
Jim Lockyer, chairman of the organizing committee, said the provincial funding will lighten the financial burden of hosting such a large-scale event, which is expected to draw curling fans from around the world.
The construction budget for the championship already tops $350,000 because the Coliseum’s ongoing problems with high humidity levels needs to be fixed, and new scaffolding must be built, Lockyer said.
"It’s like going to a concert. If you go to a concert, it’s not the same Coliseum. Well, for the world curling championship, it won’t be a hockey arena," he said.
"So, there’s a lot of construction that has to be done. It’s temporary, mind you, and a lot of this money will go in that regard."
Moncton North MLA Mike Murphy said the nine-day competition will reap many benefits for the local economy.
"This world championship is expected to general $12 million to $15 million as an impact to the local and provincial economy with visitors from across Canada and the world descending on our region, filling our hotels, restaurants and shops," he said.
"This is a wonderful announcement for Greater Moncton. With the stadium at the University of Moncton, and with support for a Metro Centre, I believe that Greater Moncton is second to none, perhaps in this country now, as we go forward in hosting world events, national events and, certainly, provincial events."
For many of the participating teams, the tournament will be their last chance to qualify for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Murphy said it’s a good opportunity to present Moncton on the world stage as a leader in hosting sporting events.
Curlers from 46 nations will compete from April 4 to 12.