Curling is going to Sin City.
The World Curling Federation, Canadian Curling Association and United States Curling Association jointly announced this afternoon that the Continental Cup of Curling will be held in January 2014 at the 5,000-seat Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
While there have been other major cash events held in Las Vegas over the years, this is the first time one is being held in a venue as large as Orleans Arena, which is normally the home of the East Coast Hockey League’s Las Vegas Wranglers.
It is also the first time ever that the Ryder Cup-style Continental Cup has been held outside of Canada.
Plans to stage a Continental Cup in Vegas have been on the drawing board at the USCA for years. Organizers have long felt that the presence of so many Canadian snowbirds in the Vegas area will provide them a good base attendance. And they’re hoping that other Canadians -- and the handful of diehard American curling fans -- can be enticed to fly in for the four-day event, attracted both by the high level of curling and the myriad other attractions in the Vegas area.
The CCA has put together ticket and travel packages for Canadian visitors, which will be sold through its website beginning next month. The event will also be broadcast live in Canada by TSN.
"The stars have finally aligned. The many years of effort by countless people are finally paying off, and I’d say the odds are that this event will be a winner in Las Vegas," Rick Patzke, Chief Operating Officer of the United States Curling Association, said in a statement.
"We felt that this would be a great profile for the sport with some of the world’s greatest curling athletes coming to Vegas only weeks before the 2014 Olympic Winter Games," said CCA CEO Greg Stremlaw.
The 2014 Continental Cup will be the 10th annual renewal of an event that pits men’s and women’s teams from North America against teams from the rest of the world in individual skills, mixed curling, skins and regular curling events.
The first of six North American teams that will compete in Vegas will be determined this weekend at the Canada Cup in Moose Jaw, where the men’s and women’s winners will receive 2014 Continental Cup berths.
The 2013 Continental Cup will be held in January in Penticton.