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Curling interest on the rise after Brier rocks Brandt Centre
Published Monday, March 12, 2018 5:54PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, March 13, 2018 2:13PM CST
After world class curling was showcased at the Winter Olympics and the Brier in Regina, local curling clubs are now reaping the rewards as interest in the sport grows.
"We’ve definitely seen a peak in interest,” said Dave Loos, general manager of Regina’s Highland Curling Club. “We’ve had people calling trying to come out and book ice time, so there is some interest and that's always the hope when you bring an event like that to the city."
According to Loos, what makes curling so unique is the fact that anybody, at any age can take to the ice. There are even options for people with mobility challenges.
"It’s a stick curling league which you don't even have to get down and slide, like you just walk out and push. So even if you're physically unable to do some of the things you see on TV. You don't have to sweep as much in that league and you don't have to slide,” Loos said.
But the Brier didn't just bring the very best in Canadian men's curling to the Queen City. It also brought curling fans. While organizers are still calculating the final numbers, overall attendance was impressive despite a snow storm that took hold of much of southern Saskatchewan at the beginning of the tournament.
"We are definitely in an attendance point above 100,000 over the 25 draws or so. So what's not to be pleased about that,” said Rob Dewhirst, event manager with Curling Canada.
Tourism Regina is hoping visitors will remember all the fun they had while in town for the Brier and are projecting big financial gains for the city.
"An estimated economic impact of the event of over $10 million dollars with most of that being right here in Regina with people spending money at hotels, restaurants, bars, that type of thing,” said Kirk Morrison with Tourism Regina.
While the Brier buttons are now being removed from the ice at the Brandt Centre, the hope is people will continue to flock to Regina’s other curling rinks.
"It’s a fantastic sport - you don't have to be the tallest, or fastest or strongest kid either,” Loos said. “It’s good for everybody.”