Lethbridge will get another opportunity to showcase itself on the world stage next year.
The announcement was made Wednesday that Lethbridge has won the bid to serve as host for the 2019 World Men’s Curling Championship.
That follows on the heels of the city’s successful hosting of the 2017 World Mixed Doubles and World Senior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championship, and before that, the 2012 World Women’s Curling Championship.
Those prior events proved to Canadian and international curling officials that Lethbridge was indeed capable of staging an event the magnitude of the World Men’s Curling Championship.
“It’s a proven commodity, so that makes the decision easier,” Al Cameron, Curling Canada’s director of communication and media relations, said Wednesday in announcing the city’s successful bid.
“When you’ve seen a city step up in the past like it has in the past with the 2007 Scotties and the 2012 World Women’s Championship, you know what they can do here.”
Lethbridge has a long track record of hosting major sporting events, including many on a national or international scale. In the past decade alone, the list has included the World U17 Hockey Challenge in 2009, the U15, U17 and U20 Canadian Judo Championships in 2010, and the Football Canada Cup under-18 championships in 2011. The city hosted a string of Canadian Junior Little League Championships from 2010 to 2014.
The city is able to hold these events because, besides the requisite facilities, Lethbridge is blessed to have an army of capable and dedicated volunteers, people who step up to the plate to ensure events run smoothly and visitors receive a large measure of southern Alberta hospitality.
Hosting such events not only boosts the local economy in the short term through the many visitors to the city, but certainly helps in the long term, too, by showcasing the city and its amenities to people who might see fit to relocate to Lethbridge in the future, or perhaps bring a business opportunity to the city.
An event on the scale of the World Men’s Curling Championship means a large amount of international attention, including media coverage which will put Lethbridge in the public eye for the duration of the competition. That’s valuable advertising for the city — another opportunity to get the city’s name out to people who might not know about our fine community.
Each successful event that Lethbridge hosts helps build the reputation that aids the city in bidding for future events. Besides the business dollars that such opportunities bring, attracting national and international events to Lethbridge is a boon for residents, too, as it’s an opportunity for them to see top-level sporting events right in their own backyard. Let’s face it, how often do you get a chance to see the world’s best curlers close up?
Kudos to local efforts to bring yet another high-profile event to Lethbridge. Keep ’em coming.