The Canada Cup of Curling, Western Canada Under 16 Challenge Cup, The Canada Russia Super Series, the 2014 Telus Cup Midget AAA National Championships and we could be adding to that already impressive list of sporting events that Moose Jaw has hosted since opening Mosaic Place.
We are officially putting in a bid for the 2015 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, one of the largest curling events in the world. Mayor Deb Higgins and council agreed to provide a letter of support to the bid committee and a commitment of $100,000.
What seemed like a simple discussion about Moose Jaw possibly hosting thousands of curling fans in February of 2015, quickly turned into a hour long debate over the cash commitment that was required from the city in order for the bid to go forward. Some councillors argued that there is no money for something like this and infrastructure needs to be the priority.
"When we look at the budget and when we go into budget planning, one of the big issues is balance. Yes we have priorities but you also have to address quality of life and make sure that you are bringing forward attractions." argued the mayor. "There's no way that $100,000 will buy you the kind of adverting and promotion that the City of Moose Jaw will received over the nine days and the lead up too."
The Capital One Canada Cup of Curling in November 2012 broke attendance records when it was hosted in Moose Jaw and Councillor Patrick Boyle is hoping for similar exposure with this event, that many consider one of the top curling events to attend each year. Hotels are filled, restaurants are packed and millions of dollars are spent in the region.
"Thousands of people will attend this event... people who would not normally come to those centres or areas. I would argue that it's going to be close to $10 million or over $10 million when you add it up at the end of the day, in economic activity."
Talk about hosting the Scotties started last winter after TSN commentators at the Canada Cup of Curling mentioned how great the event had been going, saying they wouldn't be surprised if they'd be back in a couple years for something like the Scotties. Hours later, the chatter started in the stands and the beginnings of a bid committee was established.
With the city on board, the committee will now approach the province for their support and then present a bid package to the Canadian Curling Association by the end of the month. A host city could be announced by the end of the year but it could also be in January.