Feature: Benefits of hosting a WCF Championship

  • Hosting a curling event can provide many benefits Photo: CCA

Hosting a curling event brings many benefits, both socially and economically, and as a result are becoming increasingly attractive propositions.

The World Curling Federation has been looking at the impact curling events have had on both local communities and the sport itself.

These findings are further enhanced by the Canadian Curling Association's report into their Season of Champions which boasts impressive results.

Below are case studies, one from the World Mixed Doubles and World Senior Curling Championships 2014 which were held in Dumfries, Scotland, and another from the Le Gruyere European Curling Championships 2014 which were held in Champery, Switzerland.

We have also included a edited version of the Canadian Curling Association's report, with a link to their full report on their website.

The WCF are still accepting bids for several events. To find out which events are still available, download the list at the bottom of the page.

CASE STUDIES

Le Gruyere European Curling Championships 2014

Champery, Switzerland

Report by WCF Trainee Journalist Sarah Lane

When the small village of Champéry in Switzerland decided to bid for the 2010 Le Gruyere European Curling Championships (ECC) back in 2006, they had no idea just how much the event would benefit their community.

The Championships were such a success that the town decided they wanted to host them again.

During a visit to the 2011 Le Gruyere European Curling Championships in Moscow, Russia, the Mayor of Champéry, Luc Fellay, declared their interest in hosting the event again in 2014.

Three years later, Champéry was thriving as the Championships returned to the small scenic resort in the Swiss Alps, 130km from Geneva.

8,000 bed nights were sold during the week - this meant that every hotel room in town was booked. Champéry was sold out!

For Champéry, this is a great time of year to host such an event. Because the winter season hasn't quite started yet, the Championships allow many of the local businesses to attract customers that they wouldn’t normally get in November.

According to local Mendes de Leon boutique worker, Alissa Borgeat, there are many benefits of having the Championships in town, especially at this time of year.

She said: “It’s great to have people in Champéry in November which is normally a quiet time for us. Just having people walk up and down the streets here is great for local business and the community on the whole.”

The budget set by the town for hosting the Championships was set at 1.2 million Swiss Francs (approximately $1.2 million USD).

After a little bit of number crunching, the approximate revenue return for Champéry generated by the Championships is around 1.8 million Swiss Francs (approximately $1.8 million USD).

This meant that Champéry may have made a small profit in the region of 665,000 Swiss Francs ($680,000 USD).

However, according to Françoise Vannay-Furer, Secretary General of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), as long as they broke even, they would have been happy.

The real reward however, was the exposure and visibility that the Championships provided for the region.

Spectators, officials, athletes and many more involved in the event, came to Champéry from around the world.

These people are able to experience Champéry first-hand and hopefully for the town, it’s an experience that leaves them wanting to come back.

In addition to personal experience, extensive media coverage also provided another platform for Champéry to expose itself to the world.

Press releases were being sent out to media outlets across the globe, each one mentioning the name of Champéry, while television coverage of the Championships was able to show the breathtaking scenery from the town in some of the broadcast news features.

The event also provided a lot of good publicity for the venue, the Palladium de Champéry.

With 45 teams visiting the venue throughout the week, to either participate in the A Division or take part in the Championships ceremonies, it allowed them all to view the facility as a possible training venue in the future.

Head of Communications for the LOC, Antoine Schaller, recalled last winter when the gold medal winning Canadian men’s and women’s curling teams practiced here in Champéry for two weeks before heading to Sochi for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Schaller hopes that many of the teams that played in Champéry in the 2014 Le Gruyere European Curling Championships will come back to train in the future.

He said: “The short term benefits of the Championships are great, but we’re in it for the long term. We hope that what teams experienced during their time here will encourage them to come back and make use of our world class curling facility. Champéry is renowned for its hospitality and, when combining that with the outstanding natural beauty of the surrounding area, it really is a special place for teams to base themselves for a week or two curling right in the heart of Europe. For those not here to curl, there’s a lot more to enjoy throughout the Canton of Valais and beyond.”

The European Curling Championships are one of the biggest WCF events to organise, with 46 teams participating who bring all of their support staff, in addition to officials, media, spectators and the rest to accommodate.

Champéry, with a population of only around 1,200 people, has shown that when communities pull together to support a curling event, the economic and subsequent community benefits are remarkable.

Read more about the event in Champéry in this other feature, written by WCF Trainee Journalist Sarah Lane: http://www.worldcurling.org/what-makes-a-curling-championship

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The WCF is always looking for hosts for curling events. If you, your local community or your Member Association is interested in hosting a curling event, please contact info@worldcurling.org to find out how you can bid to host an event.

You can also download our WCF Competition Host Manual to get a better understanding of what you need to host WCF competitions: http://www.worldcurling.org/wcf-competition-hosting-manual

World Mixed and World Senior Curling Championships 2014

Dumfries, Scotland

Report by EKOS Limited on behalf of Dumfries & Galloway Council

Bidding and Funding
Dumfries and Galloway Council, supported by a local working group comprising of curling enthusiasts, successfully bid for the rights to host the two World Curling Championship events. The two events took place simultaneously at Dumfries Ice Bowl between April 23 and May 1 2014.

The event received £93,000 ($140,000 USD) of funding, £50,000 from the public sector (Dumfries & Galloway Council - £50,000 and EventScotland - £30,00) and £13,000 from the private sector.

The Event
Seventy two teams, representing twenty five countries were present at the Championships which were billed as the largest gathering of curlers for a world curling event.

Impact
The event generated net additional output of £900,034 ($1.36 million USD) at the Dumfries and Galloway level and net additional output of £941,363 ($1.4 million USD) at the Scotland level.

The total net additional output per £1.00 ($1.50 USD) of funding from Dumfries & Galloway Council is £18.00 ($27.20 USD) at the Dumfries and Galloway level and £18.83 ($28.45 USD) at the Scotland level.

For total public sector funding it is £11.25 ($17 USD) at the Dumfries & Galloway level and £11.77 ($17.75) at the Scotland level.

Overall, the event achieved a very good return on investment, particularly for Dumfries and Galloway Council.

The event generally made a very positive contribution to the economy of Dumfries and Galloway and provided a very good return on investment for the public partners.

There was also very positive feedback on the quality of the event. A combination of the facilities, funding, previous experience of delivering events, and partnership approach led to the successful bid for and delivery of the event.

Visitors
Based on information provided by the event organisers the estimated number of attendances by paying spectators was 2,961.

The fact that the event attracted a large proportion of participants and spectators from outwith Dumfries & Galloway has resulted in a high economic impact.

Overseas participants accounted for 48.1% of the total impact at the Dumfries and Galloway level and 54% at the Scotland level. Overseas participants generated a total of 3,058 bed nights.

71% of spectators were from outside Dumfries & Galloway and 30% from outside Scotland.

A total of 32% stayed overnight.

Of those that stayed overnight, just under a half of respondents (48%) stayed in a hotel, with 30% making use of a guest house/B&B.

Almost every visitor from outside Dumfries and Galloway (99%) rated their overall visit to the area as very good/good. In addition, 86% of visitors from outside Scotland stated yes definitely/yes maybe to the idea of making a return visit to Scotland.

Season of Champions

Canada

Report by the Canadian Curling Association

The major championship events held in Canada during the 2013/14 curling season generated an estimated total economic impact to the host communities and Canadian provinces of $57 million CDN ($47.6 million USD), on such varied services as hotels, restaurants and retail.

Additionally, the Season of Champions events generated significant legacy funding for the local host committees and CCA Member Associations through initiatives such as volunteer-supported ticket sales and 50/50 fundraising efforts. Those funds are used to continue the growth of curling across the country.

The 2013-14 Season of Champions host cities were: Kitchener, Ont. (Capital One Road to the Roar), Winnipeg (Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings), Liverpool, N.S. (M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Curling Championships), Montreal (Scotties Tournament of Hearts), Kamloops, B.C. (Tim Hortons Brier) and Saint John, N.B. (Ford World Women’s Curling Championship). Approximately 405,000 tickets were sold to those events.

The Ford World Women’s Curling Championship in Saint John were recognized with the Economic Driver Award by Hospitality Saint John — “given to an event that has been hands down an economic catalyst for the Saint John region in not only benefitting all of the tourism partners in the area, but also helped increase the city’s profile.”

In addition to the financial benefits, the cities were exposed to a national TV audience on Canadian broadcasters TSN and RDS that featured 330 hours of live broadcast coverage, with a cumulative Canadian audience of more than 14.8 million over the season.

As well, the volunteer base of more than 4,100 for the events will continue to pay dividends. Each community now has a larger core of trained volunteers, through the professional development and guidance many of them received through the CCA, making them valuable for future events in their respective communities.

Read the full report here: http://www.curling.ca/blog/2014/11/19/host-cities-enjoy-benefits-of-2013-14-curling-events
 Required Bids as of December 2014
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