Staff at Lethbridge's ENMAX Centre have had the first week of March 2022 circled on their office calendar for some time – first with some uncertainty and now with plenty of excitement.
With the Province of Alberta officially lifting most COVID-19 restrictions effective March 1, including previous capacity limits, the ENMAX Centre is ready to welcome back a full slate of coming events.
This full re-opening will start with a big one, as the 2022 Tim Hortons Brier is set to begin on Friday and run until March 13.
By hosting the 2022 Tim Hortons Brier, the 2019 World Men's Curling Championship, the 2012 World Women's Curling Championship and the 2007 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the ENMAX Centre will now have hosted all of the major curling events.
About the Brier:
- The Brier is nationally-televised on TSN, so it will bring national attention to Lethbridge, as well as activate tourism and flights, and generate real economic activity in our city
- Curling Canada arrived right after Saturday's Lethbridge Hurricanes game to begin making ice and loading in
- It takes five full days to load in the Brier
- Curling ice is built on top of the hockey ice and logos
- Extra lighting and rink cameras are installed high above the spectator sightlines. For the first time, the cameras are rigging through the new video scoreboard
- More than 100 volunteers will participate in making this event a success!
- The ENMAX Centre provides a variety of equipment to make the Brier Patch (at Servus Sports Centre next door) a success in delivering that cultural element to this sport
- The Ticket Centre has already sold more than 4,500 curling packages and more than 4,300 individual tickets for the event, with 80 per cent from Alberta, eight per cent from BC and seven per cent from Saskatchewan
- The Brier will host two Alberta-based teams: Team Canada's Brendan Bottcher and Team Alberta's Kevin Koe
- Team Wild Card 1 will feature the Brad Gushue squad who just won bronze at the Beijing 2022 Olympics
- Hosting major sporting events in the city has significant positive spinoff – The Brier specifically is estimated to bring in $11 million in economic impact and a formal economic impact study will be conducted at this year's event
Background on the Brier coming to Lethbridge:
What to expect at the ENMAX Centre:
- On January 8, 2021, Curling Canada announced that Lethbridge was named host of the 2022 Tim Hortons Brier
- In June 2020, Lethbridge City Council voted to provide $1 million in cash and in-kind support for a bid to bring the Tim Hortons Brier to Lethbridge in 2022. This is funded from $355,845 in the Major Community Event Hosting Grant, with the remainder, $644,155, to be funded from Municipal Revenue Stabilization Reserve (MRSR)
- The in-kind services include facility access and rentals for the ENMAX Centre and Servus Sports Centre for the Brier Patch
- ENMAX staff are aware that some previous patrons of the venue may not have been there in the past two years
- A few changes fans will notice include a new video scoreboard and a no re-entry policy, which includes the removal of exterior smoking sections
- During the Brier, ENMAX Centre concessions will offer some new products such as perogies and sausage, burrito rice bowls and pulled pork. Fans at the Brier will also see the debut of a new Caesar bar, complete with an assortment of garnishes, as well as beer options exclusively from Curling Canada's sponsor Great Western Brewing and Original 16.
- Hot tip: the Caesar bar will be under Section II
- Doors for the Brier will open one hour before each scheduled draw time. Please arrive early to avoid delays.
- Masks are no longer required to be worn by patrons of any age in the ENMAX Centre
- Though masks are now optional, respect is not. Please respect that comfort levels will vary for individuals as we navigate through the latest easing of COVID restrictions. Fans who still want to wear a mask or prefer wearing a mask are encouraged and supported to do so
- Proof of vaccination or negative COVID test is no longer required for entry to the ENMAX Centre. This includes facility bookings for ice rentals, private events, Lethbridge Hurricanes games, concerts, and other live events
- The ENMAX Centre is committed to the safety of venue patrons and staff and will uphold enhanced cleaning protocols that were implemented at the beginning of the pandemic. This includes continued use of an upgraded air filtration system, increased available hand sanitization stations throughout the facility, enhanced facility cleaning and sanitization
What's next at the Enmax Centre:
- In addition to the Brier – where remaining tickets are going fast – other coming events include ZZ Top and Cheap Trick on April 27, Dallas Smith on June 6, The Glorious Sons on June 18, and the PBR Canada Cup Series on September 23-24
- Tickets for all events are available at http://www.enmaxcentre.ca/
- Stay tuned for further event announcements in the coming weeks and months ahead