Sault goes down swinging in 2017 Brier bid; Ticket deposits will be refunded

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As first reported Thursday by SaultOnline.com, the city has now confirmed that the bid of the 2017 Tim Hortons Brier was beat by St. John’s Newfoundland. 

The City issued the following release Friday.

Sault Ste. Marie was not selected to host the 2017 Tim Hortons Brier. On Monday, Curling Canada is expected to officially award the event to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Though the local bid was not successful, the endeavour certainly was.

“It was an unbelievably difficult decision, and I can’t say enough good things about the bid Sault Ste. Marie submitted,” said Pat Ray, acting Chief Executive Officer for Curling Canada. “The city is definitely on our radar for a future Tim Hortons Brier, and we’d like to see another bid from Sault Ste. Marie in the very near future.”

The local bid for the 2017 Brier, which was one of three known proposals from across Canada, was developed and submitted by Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Soo Curlers Association and Tarentorus Sports Club. To help bolster the community’s bid, a website, www.ssmbrier2017.com, was developed, and individuals and businesses were asked to make $50 deposits on tickets. The response was nothing short of sensational.

“The level of support we received from the community was overwhelming, and that will no doubt have a positive impact on any future Brier bid we submit,” said Ian McMillan, Executive Director of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, a division of the Economic Development Corporation. “We thank the citizens of Sault Ste Marie for showing their strong support, along with the Mayor and Council for their commitment, our tourism industry partners, and all levels of government and their funding agencies for working with us to help develop a very strong bid.”

As Sault Ste. Marie’s 2017 Brier bid was unsuccessful, those who made online ticket deposits will have the money refunded to their credit card within two weeks. Those who paid in-person with cash or debit can be reimbursed at the Essar Centre box office. In-person refunds will be available starting Wednesday, September 16 and subsequently from Monday to Friday between the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The individual who attends must be the same person who made the deposit, and they must present valid identification. For questions related to the in-person deposits and refunds, please contact the Essar Centre box office at 705-759-5251.

It seems the main reason that Sault Ste. Marie was not successful in its recent Brier bid is that, with the 2016 Brier already committed to Ottawa and the 2017 Olympic qualifier: Roar of the Rings also being hosted in Ontario, holding a third event in the province within a one-year span could compromise ticket sales. With this information, the local bid committee is already planning its next move.

“We will meet with the various partners and funding agencies to discuss our opportunity to move forward,” said McMillan. “I have no doubt, however, that we will continue to have strong support to consider another run at the Brier. I still believe Sault Ste. Marie would put on a first-class and very successful event.”