Masters curls to Border City

By Jamie Harkins

April 20, 2017 12:00 AM

The world’s best curlers will battle in the Border City this fall.
The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling Masters competition is being held at Lloydminster’s Centennial Civic Centre from Oct. 24-29. The Masters, which is the second event and first major of the 2017-18 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season, will bring together the top 14 men’s and women’s teams based on their World Curling Tour Order of Merit standings as well as one sponsor’s exemption from each division.
Lindsay Makichuk, supervisor of curling operations at the Lloydminster Golf and Curling Centre, said the top rinks from curling hotbeds including Canada, Sweden, Russia and Switzerland will be at the Sportsnet owned and operated event. She said the City of Lloydminster was initially approached by Sportsnet about entertaining the competition due to the Border City’s outstanding hosting resume and attractive facilities leading to the City submitting a letter of intent this spring with the winning bid being announced on Good Friday.
“We’re expecting an economic impact of over $1 million on this one,” said Makichuk. “We’re going to involve some volunteers from the community. We’re looking for about 100 volunteers. Of course, there is an aspect of community pride that we’re going to want to see here. We expect a growth of curling in our community too.”
Hockey will cease at the Centennial Civic Centre for about the two weeks leading up to the Masters, during the late October competition and for a few days following the event due to the need to install curling ice on top of the hockey surface, remove the glass barriers from the boards for better sight lines and set up the Sportsnet television operation.
“We have a really great working operation with the Bobcats right now and we have other facilities within the City of Lloydminster that they’re going to be able to use,” said Makichuk. “They know about this event too that’s coming up, so it’s well enough in advance that arrangements can be made.”
Makichuk said the attendance capacity of the Centennial Civic Centre is 1,200 and the hope is all the seats will be filled for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the world’s best curlers compete against each other. She said tickets for the Masters competition in Lloydminster went on sale Wednesday through the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling website.
“We’re in the early stages about things,” she said. “We’re really working with other communities that hosted these events to get a good idea of what’s needed. The people at Sportsnet and Pinty’s are great to work with as well. They give us great recommendations of what will bring a successful event forth and we’re more than happy to work with them to showcase our city to make this event huge.”

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