- Pan Continental Curling Championships is now taking place at Kelowna, BC, Canada
- 8 countries in both the men’s and women’s divisions are taking part
- Concerns remain for Curling Canada as fan attendance continues to decline
The 2023 Pan Continental Curling Championships is currently being held at the Kelowna Curling Club, in Kelowna, British Columbia. The tournament started on Oct 29 and will end on Nov 3. Both men and women’s teams compete against each other to see who will remain victorious.
A total of 8 countries are participating in the men’s division and they are hosts Canada, Australia, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Guyana, Korea, USA and New Zealand.
The women’s division will also see 8 countries compete against each other. They are hosts Canada, Japan, Chinese Taipei, Australia, Korea, USA, New Zealand and Mexico.
Canada Curling Concerned Over Fan Attendance Drop
Canada Curling which is the organization behind all curling events in Canada has expressed concern over the decline in fan attendance at recent curling events. Those concerns were amplified when the World Curling Federation decided to shift the venue for the 2023 Pan Continental Curling Championships to the Kelowna Curling Club.
The Pan Continental Curling Championships are usually held at a traditional arena but this year it was moved to a curling club. The decision makes sense as the 2022 Pan Continental Curling Championships was held at a traditional arena in Calgary which could seat up to 2,500 fans. However, fans did not turn up and the venue looked empty for most of the draws.
To play it safe this year, the venue was shifted to the Kelowna Curling Club which is a lot smaller to a traditional venue. Canadian curling fans have turned up for quite a few of the draws and the small venue has looked full at times.
Curling Fan Numbers Declining After COVID-19?
However the bigger concern is the drop of fan attendance across curling events in Canada during the last couple of years. The 2020 Tim Hortons Brier tournament saw just over 4,000 fans in attendance when it took place at Kingston, Ontario. After COVID-19, the fan attendance numbers have continued to drop. The 2022 Tim Hortons Brier tournament in London, Ontario had an average of just under 3,200 fans.
Curling Canada has said while live fan attendance numbers have dropped, the television ratings continue to do well with live betting odds reflecting a consistent interest in the sport.