Kingston’s Brier bid isn’t where officials would like it to be

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Kingston's bid to host The Brier in 2020 isn't set in stone just yet. Several organizations continue to work on the proposal but a key component of the bid isn't where it needs to be – Jan 22, 2018

Last month, Kingston became the first city to throw its name onto the sheet to host the 2020 Brier. Since that announcement, Tourism Kingston, the 2020 Brier Bid Committee, the city, along with several other community partners have been working on the proposal.

A big portion of the game plan revolves around the $50 refundable deposit program, which reserves tickets. So far, sales haven’t been a hit.

“Our goal for the 2020 Brier is 2,020 deposits and we’ve got a long way to go,” said Ken Thompson, the chairman of the 2020 Brier Bid Committee. Thompson added, “If we sell 4,000, it’s fantastic, if we sell 2,020, it’s fantastic, if we sell 400, it could be fatal.”

READ MORE: Kingston announces bid for 2020 Brier

The annual Canadian men’s curling championships, also known as the Tim Hortons Brier, last about nine days. The economic spin-off is projected to be in the millions.

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“A hundred-and-thirty-thousand spectators are going to be attracted to an event like this to come to Kingston,” said Rob Kawamoto, the executive director for Tourism Kingston. “It’s valued at $15 million in economic impact. It is a big number for an event and for a city of our size.”

Kingston is no stranger in hosting championship events. There was the Scottie’s Tournament of Hearts in 2013, and in 2015, the Canadian Figure Skating Championships. But both Thompson and Kawamoto say if Kingston wants to be in the national spotlight again, they need more deposits.

“You don’t have to just be fans of the Brier or fans of curling, you’ve got to be fans of Kingston,” said Thompson.

Kingston will submit its proposal at the end of June. Curling Canada is expected to make its final decision sometime in the fall.

READ MORE: Kingston’s Cataraqui Curling Club continues to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

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