Curling event a money maker for Summerside, city says
City eager to bid again on Road to the Roar, says community services director
A day after the Road to the Roar wrapped up in Summerside, the city says it will bid to host the Olympic pre-trial curling event again.
The city's community services director J.P. Desrosiers says there's no question: the city wants the event back here in four years time, ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics.
"We're going to go to bid on it in 2018 for the next round," he said.
"It was an event that provided great economic impact for our community, it was good for the curling community. Financially it was good for us as a city and as a venue, so why not? I think we've proven ourselves that we can do it now. So it's a no-brainer that we would like to have that event and others come to Summerside."
A money maker
The week-long competition sold about 18,000 tickets, Desrosiers said. That's 1,000 more than the city had anticipated.
Between those ticket sales, and strong sponsorship dollars, Desrosiers said it was a money maker for the city.
"It's an opportunity for our community to... bring over 18,000 people through our venue in one week in the middle of November, to strengthen our tourism product in the shoulder season, and also show a profit. I think it's a win-win for everyone."
'An outstanding job'
Curling Canada says it was impressed with the job Summerside did as host.
It acknowledged that Sunday's finals — broadcast on national TV — didn't show a raucous crowd or anywhere near a packed house. The 3,500 seat venue was less than a third filled.
But Curling Canada says for the Road to the Roar — an Olympic pre-trial — that's to be expected.
"The fact remains that the top seven teams in the country, both in the men's and women's, were not here," said Al Cameron, the director of communications and media relations for Curling Canada.
"They were already advanced to the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings. So there were a lot of teams that a lot of people don't know necessarily a great deal about and won't necessarily sell tickets.... In terms of expectations, I think Summerside, the organizing committee at Credit Union Place, did an outstanding job."
This was the third time Credit Union Place hosted a major curling event.
Preparing to bid
Now the work begins to prepare the city's bid for the next Road to the Roar in four years time.
The city has a year now to prepare its bid and make a case to Curling Canada that the event should return to Summerside.
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With files from Steve Bruce