2014 world women's championship

About 45,000 people are expected to take in the week-long tournament at Harbour Station. (CBC)

The 2014 Ford World Women's Curling Championship starts Friday in Saint John, and about 45,000 fans are expected to fill the stands over the course of the eight day tournament.

Some retailers in the city say they are hoping to cash in on the event that organizers estimate will generate $8 million in consumer spending.

Paulette Hicks, president of the Saint John Hotel Association and general manager of Delta Brunswick Hotel, says the tournament will help raise Saint John's profile.

"I mean these are the events that really put us on a national stage. And it kind of brings that vibrant city to light," said Hicks.

"And from a hotel perspective, we like to see business."

Billy Grant, owner of Billy's Seafood Company, has been feeding the Swiss curling team for free in hopes players will spread the word about his restaurant.

Grant suspects he won't need much advertising if the championships are anything like the World Men's held in Saint John 15 years ago.

"When we bring out the lobster the way it's done and prepared, you can hear them from in the kitchen. They just love it," said Grant. "And yes I do remember it was so much hype in the dining room."

Claire Smith, owner of children's store Paddington Station, says she hopes to attract fans passing by her shop located next to curling headquarters.

"It's exposure for our business and it's just great for the uptown area for it to be bustling and fun, that kind of thing," she said.

Twelve international teams are taking part in the tournament that runs March 15-23 at Harbour Station.