Penticton edges out Langley, Sydney, N.S. in 2018 Scotties bid

The Langley Curling Club had hoped to host the national women’s curling championship but in the end, it’s going to the Okanagan.

The Langley Curling Club made a strong bid, but in the end wasn’t able to secure the Canadian  women’s curling championship in two years time.

In late June, Langley joined Penticton and Sydney, N.S. in a quest to host the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Today (Oct. 27) Curling Canada announced that Penticton had won the bid.

The event will be played Jan. 27 to Feb. 4, 2018 at Penticton’s South Okanagan Events Centre.

“I’m disappointed we weren’t successful,” said Nigel Easton, the club’s recently retired manager and chair of the bid effort.

“There were three entries and Penticton did a pre-sale of tickets which we didn’t do, and that kind of affected us a little bit. Other than that, our presentation was very good.”

As well, Easton believes, the cost of hotel rooms in Langley came into play.

“Being in a more major area, our hotel prices were much higher than Penticton, which is out of our control,” Easton said.

A detailed bid was sent in by the club on June 27, outlining why this community should host the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

However, Penticton “raised the bar and made our decision relatively easy,” said Peter Inch, chair of Curling Canada’s board of governors.

“The South Okanagan will put on a great show, not only for the curlers and their families, but also for curling fans from across Canada,” he added, “and I’m confident this will be an event remembered for years to come.”

While it’ll be the first time Penticton has played host to the Scotties, the South Okanagan Events Centre – seating approximately 5,000 and home to the B.C. Hockey League’s Penticton Vees – is no stranger to major curling events.

The arena hosted the 2013 World Financial Group Continental Cup, won by Team North America.

The 2018 Scotties will have a 16-team field for the first time in the history of the Canadian Women’s Curling Championship. The expanded field is being utilized as a pilot after the format was approved at Curling Canada’s Annual Meetings this past summer in Cornwall, Ont.

The field will feature the 14 provincial/territorial champions of Curling Canada’s Member Associations, along with defending champion Team Canada. The qualifying process for the 16th team is still being determined and will be announced later.

While more teams will be competing, the Scotties will be played over its traditional nine-day, 22-draw schedule, using a two-pool, two-stage round-robin format similar to that used at the Canadian juniors and Canadian mixed championships.

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