Moncton loses out on bid for Brier -- for the third time
Published Friday, November 2, 2018 10:52PM ADT
Last Updated Friday, November 2, 2018 10:57PM ADT
It's been just over a month since the opening of the sparkling new Avenir Centre in Moncton.
It's a building that's already generated a lot of buzz for the hub city and a boost in tourism.
In just six weeks, more than 70,000 people have walked through the doors.
Opening night, country star Keith Urban performed to a sold-out show and for the Moncton Wildcats hockey home opener, there was another sell out as 8,800 people packed into the arena.
“The (QMJHL) commissioner was here and he even said this is one of the nicest buildings he's ever seen in junior hockey,” said Nick Deluco, the general manager SMG Canada.“So that's just a testament to what the city has built.”
The Avenir Centre also played host to a UFC event last Saturday and just over 6,000 tickets were sold for that.
It's the first time a fight night has ever been held in the hub city.
“When you have a world-class team like UFC and some of its tour of the world come in and say how amazing the facility is, how amazing the team is, how happy they are to be here, those are moments that you cherish,” said Deluco.
Staff at the Avenir Centre say there's no doubt they've reached all the success they were hoping for, and that ticket sales have exceeded their expectations, but on Thursday, they suffered their first disappointment.
It was announced that Moncton had lost a bid to host the 2020 Brier.
“It's the premiere curling event in the world,” said Jacques Robichaud, the president of Curl Moncton. “It attracts more people to the Brier than a world championship.”
The 2020 brier will be held in Kingston, Ont.
This is the third time Moncton has fallen short on their bid. This time, it’s only because of money.
“I’m very disappointed,” said Robichaud. “Last year, again, we were disappointed. But this year, having put in a much stronger bid, we were very confident.”
Robichaud says the economic generator for the Brier could have been anywhere from $13 million to $15 million.
The Moncton Wildcats also lost their bid to Halifax to host the memorial cup.
Staff at the Avenir Centre say although they're disappointed, there's lots to look forward to in the coming weeks.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir will hit the ice on Nov. 11, a trip to the hub city that is part of their “Thank you, Canada Tour.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kate Walker.