Friday, January 9, 2015

Continental Cup headed back to Vegas -- Will Ottawa Brier organizers be pissed?

The Continental Cup is headed back to Las Vegas where it was a massive success last year. More than 50,000 fans decided gambling, curling and everything Sin City were a good mix and made the trip. Reports were that the event was fun for fans and curlers alike. And really, how can you not have a good time in Las Vegas?

So the CCA and its partners decided to run that play again, taking the event (that is wrongly compared to golf's Ryder Cup on so many levels) back to the Orleans Arena.

Here's CCA head honcho Greg Stremlaw with the announcement (complete with a cheesy gambling reference) from a press release:

“After what took place in 2014 in Las Vegas, we knew we had to bring this event back as soon as possible,” said Canadian Curling Association Chief Executive Officer Greg Stremlaw. 
“It was a gamble that paid off, thanks to the combination of a wonderful facility, our amazing Canadian curling fans who packed the arena, and the hard work of the Reno-Tahoe Winter Games Coalition (RTWGC), which was one of the driving forces behind bringing the event to Las Vegas in the first place, and making it so successful.”

That's the good news.

The other side of this is that there's strong speculation the reason the Kamloops Brier didn't sell out was because many of the folks who regularly make a trip to the Canadian championship instead chose to head to the Strip, spending their money in Vegas. That was the theory brought up by Warren Hansen who is the world's most learned man when it comes to curling championships.

So putting one and one together, does that mean next year's Timmies Brier in Ottawa should expect to lose some fans to Vegas again?

Time will tell of course, and it's hard to decide if this is a win-win or a win-lose. Any time you can showcase curling in the USA, it's a good thing, even if it means losing a bundle at the roulette wheel.

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