Victoria to stage 2005 men's World Curling Championships
VICTORIA, October 21, 2003The 2005 men's world curling championship has been awarded to Victoria, British Columbia, it was announced today by the World Curling Federation (WCF).
The 2005 championship will be staged at the new, 7,000 seat Victoria Arena, which is currently under construction, from April 2-10, 2005. It also marks the first time since 1988 that the men's and women's world curling championships have been separated.
In making the announcement, Mr. Roy Sinclair, President of the World Curling Federation, said, "It's tremendously exciting to be able to stage the 2005 men's world curling championship in a brand new arena. This venue will obviously be a first-class facility and we are honoured that the first international competition to take place in it will be the men's world curling championship. Victoria has traditionally shown great support for the sport of curling and we very much look forward to a successful event. I wish the host committee the best of luck in its preparations."
Canada last hosted the men's and women's world curling championships, known as the Ford Worlds, in Winnipeg in 2003. The 2004 Ford Worlds will be played in Gävle, Sweden, April 17-25. The Ford Motor Company of Canada is currently in the process of renegotiating its title sponsorship, since the contract expires at the conclusion of the 2004 Season of Champions.
Beginning in 2005, the men's and women's events will once again be contested separately, after a decision was rendered by the WCF at its semi-Annual Assembly in Grindelwald, Switzerland last December. They were previously conducted as separate championships from 1979-1988. It was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1989 that the championships were first combined at one venue. That year, Canada won both the men's and women's world titles, courtesy of Edmonton's Pat Ryan and Thunder Bay's Heather Houston.
The reasons for the decision to split the men's and women's championships include additional global television exposure and enhanced marketing opportunities for the sport of curling by offering more venues a chance to stage a world championship. It was also decided that Canada would alternately host a men's and women's world curling championship, beginning in 2005. Thus, the 2006 women's world curling championship will be staged in Canada at a site to be announced in the future.
Another significant change, beginning with the 2005 men's championship, is the fact that 12 nations, not the current 10, will now qualify for the competition.
"The men's world curling championship coming to Victoria in 2005 will be the biggest event to hit this city since the Commonwealth Games in 1994," said Keith Dagg, president of the host committee. "The opportunity for Victoria to once again be showcased to the world is wonderful for this entire community.
"We will have a brand new arena to hold the event in. When the Brier was here in 1984, it was completely sold out one year in advance, so tickets will be at a premium. We do not get winter in Victoria, so fishing, golfing and visits to our gardens will make it an unforgettable experience to the world curling fraternity."
Canada has won a leading 27 men's titles since the championship began in 1959. Represented by Randy Ferbey's Edmonton foursome, Canada has captured the men's event the last two years. Ferbey defeated Ralph Stöckli of Switzerland, 10-6 in the gold medal final in Winnipeg last April. In 2002, Ferbey won the Ford Worlds in Bismarck, North Dakota, defeating Norway's Pål Trulsen, 10-5 in the final.
With today's announcement, three curling championships have now been confirmed for the 2005 season. The (Scott) Tournament of Hearts (Canadian women's curling championship) will be held in St. John's, Newfoundland, February 19-27 at Mile One Stadium, while the (Nokia) Brier (Canadian men's curling championship) will be contested in Edmonton at Skyreach Centre, March 5-13.
For further information:
Manager of Event Operations and Media
Canadian Curling Association
President, Victoria Host Committee
2005 Men's World Curling Championship
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