London to make bid for 2023 Brier
LONDON, ONT. -- After a very successful 2020 Continental Cup of Curling, the London organizing committee is already looking ahead to their next big project.
They are in the process of bidding on the 2023 Tim Hortons Brier.
"I enjoyed the Brier here in 2011 and always wanted to bring it back, but Budweiser Gardens is a difficult place because they are busy," says Peter Inch of the host committee for the Continental Cup. "If we don't get our bid in and get that spot reserved, it'll be hard to get a curling event here."
The cost to bid on the Brier is approximately $500,000. Inch says it wouldn't be possible without Tourism London having access to the four per cent hotel tax.
"Without that we wouldn't be on the same playing field as other cities, so we'll use that as well as some of our other community partners," says Zanth Jarvis, sport tourism director with Tourism London.
London received major media exposure this past weekend as every draw of the tournament was broadcast on TSN. Going after international events which bring people from outside of the city to London is a strategic objective of Tourism London.
"The economic impact of the Continental Cup is approximately $2- to $4-million, but you can't put a price on the media exposure," adds Jarvis. "Every time you turned on the TV this weekend you were seeing London and Tourism London and seeing how great the people and the city are."
Inch says he has a meeting with Tourism London next week, so his group will have only a little time to rest before working on the next big event.
After hosting two Continental Cup events in three years, he's hearing great things about London from Canada's curling body.
"Curling Canada believes London is a hot spot for curling. They see it with fans, spectators, volunteers and our organizing committee. It’s everyone working together."
Team Europe won this weekend's event at Western Fair District by a score of 37.5-22.5 over Team Canada. It's the second consecutive victory for Europe after capturing last year's event in Las Vegas.
Inch says the fans in attendance were slightly disappointed in Canada's defeat, but were blessed to see some of the best curlers in the world.
"They saw the Olympic medallists," says Inch. "We had the women’s gold medallist and the men’s silver medallist. The result shows everyone else is catching up to Canada so we'll have to be better."