Monday, March 24, 2008

Attendance at the Women's Worlds

Have you seen the attendance figures for the world's so far? You didn't really have to see the numbers to see that attendance must be pretty low. The venue is small and there aren't all that many people there.

My standard for comparison is the Scotties in Kitchener a few years ago and in London two years ago, and so it may not be a fair comparison. I haven't kept track of the attendance at previous women's world championships, but here are the numbers available so far as posted on Curlcast:

Draw 1 1156
Draw 2 1465
Draw 3 831
Draw 4 1342

Is there a problem with Vernon, BC? Would it be better to hold the world's in bigger markets?

Addendum: Be sure to read the comment for some good insight into these questions.

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1 Comments:

At 3/24/2008 2:23 PM, Blogger catester said...

I was at the evening draw --- 8:00PM Easter Sunday --- and the arena was probably half full. From what I can tell, the place would seat around 4500 (http://www.greatervernonmultiplex.ca/venue/capacity.html) and I haven't seen the attendance figures for that draw (Draw 5) yet. What was the capacity in Kitchener?

I wouldn't worry about low attendance over a holiday weekend where the weather was great. You could have golfed, skiied, had a holiday dinner with your family, or watched live curling. Frankly, I think attendance would have been higher had local favourite Kelly Scott won the Hearts. That said, I think more people will go as the week progresses, especially if Canada looks to be headed toward the medal round.

There's nothing wrong with Vernon, BC as a venue for the Women's Worlds. It's 45 minutes from the Kelowna airport, there are places to stay, places to eat, and the roads are good. There were so many volunteer applications that they stopped accepting them months ago. The multiplex is beautiful, the parking is plentiful and free, the ladies room is clean. ;-) Vernon seems well-suited to host an event like this.

I am not sure comparing this year's Women's Worlds to the Hearts in Kitchener a few years ago makes sense. The level of play is not up to the standard of the Hearts (this year's Hearts, anyway). This is not the fault of the CCA, WCF, or the Vernon host committee. It's just quite simply not as difficult to get out of the Czech Republic as it is to get out of Canada; Norway failed to qualify (and whose fault is that, besides Norway's?); and Annette Norberg isn't representing Sweden this time. So even Team Canada, who you would think would somehow elevate the level of play, can get away with things against the Czech Republic and Germany that they could never get away with against, say, Shannon Kleibrink. We'll see how they do against USA and holy wow, look out for China.

Overall, it's a well run event, and while I hope more people will come. People just need to realize that most other countries don't have the depth in women's curling that Canada enjoys, and take what comes. If you're not having a good time at the venue, take the shuttle over to the Patch, and catch the curling AND the entertainment there. ;-)

 

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