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Fans flock to Brier – Metro US

Fans flock to Brier

Brier fans are flocking to the city in droves Friday and the city will be reaping the rewards of the men’s national championship bonspiel for months to come, according to local groups.

Tourism Calgary’s vice-president, Marco De Iaco, said the Brier will bring an estimated $20 to $25 million to the city in the form of tourism dollars.

“A big event like that will bring people to the city, to hotels, to restaurants and bars,” De Iaco said, adding he expects more than 210,000 people to attend the curling event.

De Iaco said the estimated tourism benefits are largely due to the fact curling is such a popular Canadian sport, especially in the Western provinces.

“We also did campaigning and marketing at bringing people into the city. But it’s a great event and we did such a good job hosting it last time, too,” he added.

It also doesn’t hurt to have die-hard fans like Bonnie Bertsch and her husband from Saskatoon, who have travelled to at least nine Briers to date.

“We love it and we go to all of the Western Canada ones. The curling is amazing, and especially this year, there are a lot of good teams,” she told Metro.

While her daughter lives in Calgary and it gives them a chance to visit, Bertsch said they don’t hesitate to travel to cities where they don’t know anyone, either.

“The whole experience is fun and the people are great. It’s like a community and you often see the same people,” she added.

Calgary Economic Development’s director, Adam Legge, said not only will the event attract a lot of money into the city but it will make Calgary an even more recognizable destination.

“This event has significant importance and it gives us exposure and word of mouth. The recognition we can get for hosting is very positive,” Legge said.

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