Kickoff for Meridian Canadian Open in N.B.

By Matt Kelly
September 20, 2016 - 5:00pm

In four months, the curling elite will descend on the Battlefords to duel it out on the sheets for the title.

The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling, Meridian Canadian Open is taking place at the Civic Centre in North Battleford from Jan. 3 to 8, 2017 where 32 of the world’s best men’s and women’s curling teams take to ice.

The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling consists of seven events with the Meridian Canadian Open being one of the four majors.

Ryan Bater with the marketing and organizing committee said credit for bringing the Canadian Open to the Battlefords goes to the Twin Rivers Curling Club who initiated talks with Sportsnet.

“I recall last January Sportsnet was here to talk about the event and the impact it would have on the community and the requirements the community would have to be able to host it,” Bater said. “We felt that we were in a position to do it and so the (Twin Rivers) Curling Club had entered into a contract with Sportsnet and now here we are, ready to host this event in just a few short months.”

Bater said the event will have a massive economic impact on the Battlefords.

“These are the best curlers in the world, you’re not going to get a better calibre of talent, and they’re going to be right here in our Civic Centre. It’s a great opportunity just in terms of entertainment and being able to take in the sport. The economic impact will be tremendous. People will be coming for this event from all over Saskatchewan, parts of Alberta and even into Manitoba,” he said.

Bater added the Civic Centre is a great venue to hold the Canadian Open with the curling sheets placed over the hockey ice.

“There’s enough seating within the arena to 1,250 seated people plus 225 standing room which is the perfect crowd size because it allows us to actually sell out, fill the room and get that crowd energy going for the room,” he said.

Analyst and Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling Ambassador with Sportsnet and retired Canadian curling star Kevin Martin said the draws are going to be exciting curling for the fans.

“One thing that everyone is going to notice when they come here in early January to watch the events is the energy in the building. It’s just a little different than the traditional curling events. It’s not really like that. There’s way more energy,” he said.

Martin said a different yet exciting part of the tournament for the fans is the Pinty’s Pub bar style seating set up on the ice level where the curlers will often be after their draws.

“To have the ability for fans to go into the Pinty’s lounge, watch the games, have fun with your friends, but then, in comes Brad Jacobs or in comes Brad Gushue or in comes Eve Muirhead or Jennifer Jones or whoever happens to be wanting to get in there and do a little bit of research, it’s really cool,” he said.

Full event tickets for the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling, Meridian Canadian Open are on sale now with early bird pricing. Weekend passes will go on sale beginning on Nov. 1 and individual draw tickets will go on sale on Dec. 1.

 

With files from Nathan Kanter.

Matt Kelly is battlefordsNOW's town municipal affairs and community reporter. He can be reached at [email protected] or tweet him @mattjkelly2.

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