(Curling Canada Release) Curling Canada’s newest championship, the PointsBet Invitational, will feature new teams, an exciting new format and new ways to be entertained, it was announced today.
The inaugural PointsBet Invitational will be played Sept. 21-25 at Willie O’Ree Place in Fredericton, N.B., and will bring together Canada’s best men’s and women’s curling teams for the first major event of the 2022-23 curling season, and the first event of the quadrennial that leads to the 2026 Winter Olympics in Italy.
Not only will it be the first opportunity to see many new teams that were formed during this off-season, but it will also be a chance to see a format new to Curling Canada’s Season of Champions that will feature 16 men’s and 16 women’s teams compete in a single-knockout tournament offering a purse in excess of $350,000.
“The drama and emotion of a single-knockout bracket tournament is well-chronicled in sports such as tennis and the NCAA basketball championships, and we expect our new event to bring that kind of passion and excitement to curling,” said Katherine Henderson, Chief Executive Officer of Curling Canada. “It’s also a chance for us to showcase our partnership with PointsBet, and, happily, finally bring a major championship to Fredericton after a couple of disappointing years of cancellations due to the pandemic.”
The PointsBet Invitational will be the first curling event sponsored by PointsBet Canada, the official Sports Betting Partner of Curling Canada.“
Since Day 1 of our partnership with Curling Canada, we have made it a priority to offer new and exciting ways for fans to connect with the sport we all love,” said Nic Sulsky, Chief Commercial Officer for PointsBet Canada. “Whether it is the Trailer Park Boys throwing rocks with national champions Kevin Koe and Kerri Einarson, or events like the PointsBet Invitational, we are committed to working with Curling Canada to excite the existing supporters but to also attract the next generation of fans.
”Fredericton had been announced as the host of the 2020 Home Hardware Canada Cup and 2022 Continental Cup, but both events were cancelled because of the pandemic.
“It is truly an honour to host the inaugural PointsBet Invitational,” said Host Committee Chair Wayne Tallon. “After having had two events cancelled due to COVID we are looking forward to the opportunity to host this event. For our fans and volunteers it will be exciting for them to watch all the new teams compete in their first big event. We look forward to working with the City of Fredericton, Curling Canada and the title sponsor PointsBet to roll out the red carpet for the players, coaches and fans.”
The full fields will be announced at a later date, but tentatively, the 16 teams in each gender will comprise the top 12 ranked teams on the revamped World Curling Team Ranking System; the reigning women’s (Nova Scotia’s Team Emily Deschenes) and men’s (Ontario’s Team Landan Rooney) champions at the New Holland Canadian Juniors; and the reigning women’s (Team Tracy Larocque) and men’s (Nova Scotia’s Team Nick Deagle) champions at the Everest Canadian Curling Club Championships; host committee-selected men’s (Team Jack Smeltzer) and women’s teams (Team Andrea Kelly) from Fredericton; and a men’s and women’s sponsor’s exemption entry.
All 32 competing teams will receive $5,000 to cover travel and accommodation costs, and teams will earn more money for each successive win in the single-knockout tournament — $3,000 for a first-round win, $6,000 for a quarterfinal win, $12,000 for a semifinal win and $24,000 to the victorious women’s and men’s teams, meaning the two winning teams will each collect a total of $50,000.In addition to watching Canada’s best teams compete in a high-stakes championship, fans will have many other ways to enjoy the inaugural PointsBet Invitational.
The Patch will be set up at Willie O’Ree Place, with live entertainment throughout the event.
Additionally, on the Friday night, following the “Elite Eight” rounds in both genders, there will be a Celebrity Invitational event featuring numerous Canadian celebrities participating with elite curlers in exhibition games.
With only around 1,000 seats available in the initial ticket offering, it’s expected that New Brunswick curling fans will snap them up quickly.
The full-event package will sell for $249 and will guarantee a single ticket and seat selection for all 10 draws of the 2022 PointsBet Invitational. The package will also include a bonus ticket for admission to the Friday night Celebrity Invitational and party in the Patch. All ticket purchases are subject to standard ticket service fees.
Curling fans who had purchased tickets to the canceled 2022 Continental Cup will receive an email and be provided the first chance at the best seats in the house through an exclusive advanced sales window from June 22 to 27. Starting Tuesday, June 28, at 10 a.m. AT, full-event ticket packages will be available to the public online via Ticketmaster, in-person at the Capital Winter Club or by phone at 506 452-0020.
Customers are encouraged to sign up for Curling Canada’s e-newsletter at curling.ca to receive ongoing ticket information.
Volunteer and entertainment information will be made available in the coming weeks.
“We’re thrilled to see the PointsBet Invitational make its debut in New Brunswick,” said Bernard Savoie, president of the New Brunswick Curling Association. “We’re also very happy to see Fredericton finally get its opportunity to host a major curling championship after the disappointments of the past two seasons.”
Broadcast plans will be announced at a later date.