Masters attains early success

By Jamie Harkins

June 29, 2017 12:00 AM

SELLING THE MASTERS Canadian Olympian Kevin Martin addresses the crowd at the Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling 2017 Masters event lauch at the Lloydminster Golf and Curling Centre on Tuesday. JAMIE HARKINS LLS PHOTO

The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling stop in Lloydminster this fall is poised to be an incredible success.
Cindy Rekimowich, planning executive for the Lloydminster Masters event, said approximately 50 per cent of ticket packages have already been sold for the competition, despite sales only beginning about a month-and-a-half ago.
She said at this rate they may not even be able to offer individual ticket sales.
The Masters event takes place at the Centennial Civic Centre from Oct. 24 to 29, and will feature the top 14 men’s and women’s curling teams based on their World Curling Tour Order of Merit ranking, as well as one sponsor’s exemption in each division.
Winners of this first major of the 2017-18 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season receive an automatic bye into the year-end Humpty’s Champions Cup showcase event at Calgary’s WinSport Arena from April 25 to 30, 2018.
Canadian Olympic gold medallist Kevin Martin, who was on hand for the event launch at the Lloydminster Golf and Curling Club on Tuesday, noted there are four grand slam majors including the Masters, the Canadian Open, the Boost National, and the Players Championship.
He said winning one of the these events is a big draw for the players due to the prize money and notoriety involved so anyone able to take in the competition will be witnessing the best these curlers have to offer.
“The pecking order as curlers going through the years is how many grand slams, major championships, did you win,” said Martin, noting Jack Nicklaus set the bar at 18 in golf.
“I was stuck at 17. It took two and a half years to get that 18th one, and that’s what it’s all about. It’s all about the highest level of curling there is in the world, and it’s coming to Lloyd.”
Rekimowich said there are still a wide range of sponsorship opportunities available for the Masters, and they do need more volunteers to sign up.
She said anyone interested in taking advantage of these chances to be a part of the event can do so through the Lloydminster Golf and Curling Centre website.
According to information presented at the event launch, the Masters will reach 1.8 million television viewers across Canada during its 27-plus hours of coverage on Sportsnet.
Approximately $1.3 million is also expected to be generated in the local economy through the competition.
Martin said curling clubs in and around Lloydminster should see a boost as well in the number of its participants because of this event.
He said having the best curlers in the world such as Rachel Homan, Brad Jacobs and Reid Curruthers competing for a title in the Border City this fall will create a lot of energy for the sport.
“The (Masters) is going to be an exciting event for Lloydminster,” said Rekimowich.
“It’s something new. Curling is a growing sport in our community and in Canada, and it would be great to showcase that sport in Lloydminster.”

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