Curling cash: Brier generates $10M in economic activity

Team Gushue walked away with the trophy, but the city of St. John’s benefited from millions spent at the 2017 Tim Hortons Brier.

Report indicates most spending by out-of-province visitors

The Gushue team won the trophy but the St. John's area also scored big at the 2017 Tim Hortons Brier. (Devin Heroux/CBC Sports)

Team Gushue walked away with the trophy, but the city of St. John's benefited from millions spent at the Tim Hortons Brier.

The Canadian men's curling championship was held at Mile One Centre last March.

CBC News has obtained a copy of a  report on the Brier's economic impact, prepared by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance. 

The report indicates that the Brier generated $10.1 million in economic activity in the province, $9.1 million of which was in the city of St. John's. 

Out-of-province visitors spent big

The Brier drew a crowd, with 2,384 out-of-province fans, each of whom spent an average of $1,309.66 during their stay.

That added up to more than $3 million, compared to $1.2 million spent by people from this province who bought tickets to the Mile One matches.

Locals dropped considerably less cash, but came out to the event in droves. More than 8,000 people from this province caught at least one game. Those who live more than 40 kilometres from from St. John's tended to stay with family or friends and avoid the hotel bill.

Boost for businesses

Many businesses received a big cash injection from Brier visitors, at a time of year that's traditionally a slow season.

Brier fans spent nearly $1.3 million on accommodations, mainly hotels. Restaurants gobbled up another $1.3 million in spending.

Transportation to Newfoundland, which had been seen as a hurdle for Brier organizers, cost out-of-province visitors an average of $284.93 per person, for a total of $679,275.

When not watching curling, or partying at the Brier Patch, Brier fans spent $358,059 shopping, $140,541 on groceries, and $75,758 on entertainment.


  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the attendance numbers at the Brier in St. John's.
    Oct 20, 2017 10:04 AM NT