Will the World Curling Tour
Ever Replace the Brier?
The World Curling Tour offers A LOT of prize money. It is a very attractive option for many of the rinks. As an example,
WINNIPEG, Man. -- The Ultima World Curling Tour and BDO Dunwoody LLP have announced the return of Grand Slam curling to Winnipeg’s MTS Centre.It seems that the World Curling Tour is attracting increasing interest, both on television and among some of the top Canadian curlers.
The BDO Curling Classic takes to the ice January 26-29 and will feature the top high-performance men’s teams in the world battling for a $100,000 prize purse. It is widely expected the field will include the 2006 Canadian Men’s Olympic Team, which will compete at the Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, in February.
The bulk of the three-pool field will be based on the World Curling Players’ Association (WCPA) World Rankings as of December 31, 2005.
My expectation (and hope), however, is that the WCT will not go head-to-head with the Brier (though if it did, I can readily imagine that the WCT might win). Rather, we are more likely to see a series of different tournaments evolve, as has happened in tennis. If so, then one rink could win several different "majors" throughout the curling season. Increasingly we are likely to see top curlers take long leaves of absence from their "day" jobs to curl in the big money tournaments. And eventually we might see more head-to-head matches between the top rinks of the world.
At any rate, as I said, I hope this is the direction that different tournaments continue to pursue in the future: more television, more money for the curlers, and more tournaments for curling fans to watch on television.