Budget issues are forcing officials at the Grande Prairie Curling Centre to slightly expand the number of teams needed to run a season in 2020/2021.
With a lack of extracurricular events available due to COVID-19, members of the board suggest 90 teams, spread across all the available leagues will be needed to run a break-even budget.
“Last year we were right around 80 times… so it’s not like we are asking to double our team base or anything like that, we need our curlers that normally curl to come back, and we need a few new teams to give it a try,” says General Manager Nicole Shirvell.
Shirvell says while all the normal leagues will return, they’re also adding a handful of new leagues to try and tip the scales. She says some of the leagues will include the return of the Women’s League Evening, and Corporate Night, which is meant for staff and friends to come in and learn the sport. She adds planning has been in the works for some time, with board members believing now is the time to take the plunge.
“There were ideas last season for some new leagues, and we’ve decided this is definitely the year to push ahead and try and have a few more leagues that can be a lot of fun.”
Shirvell hopes the community can piece together the numbers needed to make sure the season is a go, as having no curling available in the city is not even a scenario she wants to give any credence to.
“It’s extremely hard, all of us [have] our hearts in curling, and it would be absolutely devastating not to have a season because we feel like we would are letting the community down, we have a lot of dedicated curlers.”
Registration for the 2020/2021 curling season is already online, with in-person registration set for October 6th, 8th, 12th, and 14th, at the GPCC from 5 pm to 7 pm.