Successful event could be just a start for city
© Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
Kristy McDonald, left, from the Chelsea Carey rink and Sherry Middaugh stand in front of a sign that reads "who needs the NHL?" at the Capital One Canada Cup of Curling.
The Capital One Canada Cup of Curling drew nearly the entire population of Moose Jaw through its turnstiles last week.
The new attendance record of 33,160 spectators was just one of the highlights of the successful five-day event at Mosaic Place.
“This is the best Canada Cup we’ve ever had,” said Warren Hansen, director of event operations and media with the Canadian Curling Association.
Jeff Stoughton and Stefanie Lawton both won Canada Cup championships and a spot at the Olympic curling trials Sunday, but the local curling community were the other big winners.
“I’m extremely proud of the city of Moose Jaw, all of our volunteers and the people who came out to support the event,” said Danielle Sicinski, the host committee chair for the Canada Cup.
With the new 4,414 seat Moasic Place available and plenty of history in the sport in the city, the host committee is hoping this event would be a springboard to other Canadian Curling Association events.
While the men’s Brier is out of the reach of a city Moose Jaw’s size, a major bid is expected in the near future.
“Everybody knew before the event that if things went really well we can get a Scotties to come to town or some sort of Ford Worlds event to come to our city,” Sicinski said. “I think the CCA was really pleased with how things transpired. We most definitely will have something in the near future right here again in Moose Jaw.”
The night draws drew some strong crowds to Mosaic and Sunday’s men’s final drew 2,896 fans.
“(Friday night) was a great atmosphere in here. There was good attendance. I think all around it was a good job. I think all of the teams would say that they enjoyed it,” said Moose Jaw’s Pat Simmons, the third from Kevin Koe’s rink.
The total of 33,160 spectators over the five-day event bested the previous record of 27,444 set by Yorkton in 2009. Beyond the crowds for the curling, the Original 16 Patch was a popular destination and drew a slightly different crowd to the event.
“We’re pretty excited that we pulled off (the attendance record) and we’re pretty excited with the 50-50 draws too. I believe they were over the $100,000 mark. So that’s wonderful for Curl Moose Jaw,” said Sicinski. “A percentage of that money from the 50-50 will go to Curl Moose Jaw to help with youth curling in our city and I think that’s great to leave a lasting legacy.”