“Be ready to party.” The Brier returning to London in 2023

Budweiser Gardens in downtown London. (File photo by Craig Needles, Blackburn News)

Before COVID-19, London was considered one of the top sporting destinations in Canada.

Canada’s biggest curling tournament is coming back to the city next year, hopefully on the other side of the pandemic.

The Tim Horton’s Brier, presented by AGI, will be held March 3-12 of next year at Budweiser Gardens.

“There’s lots of reasons to be excited and optimistic today in London,” said Katherine Henderson, Chief Executive Officer of Curling Canada at a virtual news conference on Monday morning. “Please be ready to party at Budweiser Gardens.”

“The City of London and Tourism London did not hold back when it came to bidding to host the Tim Horton’s Brier, so that made it a straight forward decision from the selection committee,” she added.

According to London Mayor Ed Holder, more than 100,000 people went to curling events when London last hosted the tournament in 2011. He expects that number to be higher next year.

“London’s passionate curling community and our city at large will raise the bar for all that’s involved in hosting this Brier,” Holder said at the news conference. “Today’s announcement comes at absolutely the right time. We need things to look forward to. Reasons to celebrate. Reasons to get excited. Hosting the 2023 Brier, it checks all those boxes.”

Curling Canada says ticket information and volunteer call outs will be available in the weeks to come.

With a crowd like that on hand, the impact on London’s downtown core, an area of the city badly in need of an economic boost, will be getting a nice left next March according to Tourism London.

“Thank you to Curling Canada for trusting us to host this event,” said Zanth Jarvis, their director of sport tourism. “There’s no denying how tough this pandemic has been on our local industry and while this one event won’t be what recovers our industry, it’s a step in the right direction.”

“We really think that this is going to be a great event, provide that economic impact and really help us along the way in terms of recovery. If it’s anything like 2011, it will be one heck of a party.”