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Colchester County touches ‘button' on funding request for major curling ‘spiel at the RECC

TRURO - A bid by the Rath Eastlink Community Centre (RECC) to host to a major curling event this fall has received a much-needed boost from the County of Colchester.

Colchester County council on Thursday night agreed to contribute $17,500 towards expenses required to host the Masters of Curling event should the RECC be successful in its efforts to host the highly televised bonspiel.

The event, which is owned by Sportsnet, is part of World Curling Tour and features the top 15 men's and top 15 women's teams in the world.

"These are one of the events I think we had in mind when we were designing the place," Mayor Bob Taylor said, during council discussion of the funding request from the RECC and the host planning committee.

A similar funding request is being made to the Town of Truro.

The funding commitment will only come into play if the host committee is successful in its attempt to bring the event to the centre.

The funding, if required, is to come from Colchester County's share of the financial assets from the former Colchester Regional Development Agency.

A staff report to council said a contract has been reviewed with the RECC and Sportsnet "and is close to being signed."

Sportsnet receives a fee for bringing the bonspiel to a given rink and money is also required for local operating expenses, including marketing costs, transportation, housing and food and beverage costs for the curlers, etc.

If successful in its bid to host the event, which would run from Oct. 27 to Nov. 1, the RECC and the host committee are entitled to the first $100,000 in ticket revenues. Additional revenue is to be split 50/50 between the host community and Sportsnet.

A portion of the profits would also be allocated to local curling clubs whose members are to provide volunteer duties during the event.

Information provided to council indicates that the average ticket sales per event total about $120,000.

In order to achieve that figure, approximately 600 paying spectators are required for each draw.

"I'll sit here and agree to these things all day long," Coun. Doug MacInnes said, of the potential revenue that could come into the local community during the event.

"I just can't believe we're even having the opportunity to host this."

Deputy Mayor Bill Masters added to that sentiment by suggesting the community exposure that could result from televised publicity would far outweigh the costs involved to host the event.

"It's national television coverage. I mean, this thing alone would get us $100,000 worth of advertising value," he said.

"It's things like this that will be the salvation of that place," Masters added of the RECC, which this year is anticipating a deficit that some reports are pegging at close to $1 million.

Twitter_ @tdnharry


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