Curling Canada Considering 2021 Calgary Bubble

By Ben Hamill - November 10 2020
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Curling Canada Considering 2021 Calgary Bubble

Though not yet confirmed as such by Curling Canada, three major curling competitions look to be headed for a 2021 bubble in Calgary. This means that the Brier, Scotties Tournament of Hearts, and Men’s Curling World Championships will all be moved from their respective host cities and venues to an arena at Calgary Olympic Park in Alberta.

Since the Memorial Cup, Mixed Doubles Nationals, and World Senior Curling Championships previously scheduled for 2020 were all wiped out, chances one or more may be competed along with next year’s upcoming events. This too, remains unconfirmed and as such, largely uncertain.

Planning for holding the Brier, Scotties, and men’s champs in Alberta is currently reportedly subject to discussions and approvals with and from Alberta’s provincial government.

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Changes All Around

Original host cities and venues include Fort Williams Gardens in Thunder Bay – which is where the Scotties would have been played from February 20-28. More than 1,600 tickets and experience packages have reportedly been sold for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts prior to the outbreak of the global health crisis. The possible solution in terms of tickets would be for Thunder Bay to host the Scotties in 2022 – that is in the event that travel and other restrictions have eased up by then.

As for the Brier, which was set to be competed at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia, from March 6-14, and the Men’s World Curling Championships, originally planned to be played at TD Place In Ottawa from April 3-11, neither events will likely be cleared in good time to remain at their original locations.

Curlers In Support Of Bubble

According to Kelowna Curling Club General Manager Jock Tyre, a curling bubble headed for Calgary Olympic Park will likely be made up of officiators, ice makers, essential support staff, and the curlers themselves.

According to curling insiders, the majority of the country’s top curlers are open to the prospect of a bio-secure bubble with no live attendance of fans. This following the results of a general survey conducted among athletes in September.

Canada’s Public Health Agency has in the meantime declared itself open to suggestions from Curling Canada. Such proposals are expected to include a thorough public health plan endorsed by national government – along with the written support from provincial and local public health authorities.

The Government of Canada will continue to consider its top priority to be helping to ensure the health and safety of the country’s inhabitants, officials from the Public Health Agency have said in a general statement regarding sports events and venues.

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