For the first time in 12 years, the Queen City will host the Tim Hortons Brier in 2018.
The Canadian men’s national curling championship event will be held at the Brandt Centre from March 3 – 11.
“Curling’s roots go deep in the province of Saskatchewan, and based on past history, I have no doubt that the city of Regina will embrace the 2018 Tim Hortons Brier,” said Peter Inch, chair of the Curling Canada Board of Governors in a news release.
The Brier is no stranger to Regina. This will be the fifth time the event has come to the city. It was first held here in 1955, then again in 1976. The Brandt Centre was also home to the Brier in 1992 and most recently 2006.
While Saskatchewan teams have won the Brier seven times, one hasn’t won since Rick Folk’s team in 1980.
“This is huge for curling in Saskatchewan. It’ll be in the spotlight, we’ll have lots of eyeballs on Regina and the sport of curling in the province. This is really the premiere sporting event for curling in Canada,” said CurlSask Executive Director Ashley Howard.
The 2018 Brier will mark the first time 16 teams will compete, an expanded field from 14. But the tournament will stick with its nine day, 22 draw schedule. Tens of thousands of spectators are expected to take in the event. Millions of eyes from across the country will be watching on television as well, with a minimum of 66 hours of coverage planned.
“The more large events we have, the more people are aware of Regina and everything that we can do. The hospitality is great here and we’ve got better and better facilities,” said Bid Committee Chairperson Bernadette McIntyre.
She said beside that national exposure, hotels, restaurants and shops stand to benefit. The economic impact for the city is estimated to be between $11 million and $15 million.
“More business is great for us and these large footprint events, these major national competitions… are outstanding for us here and it really helps drive our ability to take care of the property in the future,” said Evraz Place CEO Mark Allan.
“Curling has been a big driver of our imagining greater things for this community.”
Part of the profits are returned to the facilities to make improvements.
Tickets are expected to go on sale in early 2017.