Q&A: Seamus O’Keefe, 2017 Tim Hortons Brier – Part I

It’s been about eight months since it was announced that St. John’s will host the 2017 Tim Hortons Brier. Consultant to Sport Tourism Event Partnership (STEP) St. John’s and local liaison with Curling Canada‎ Seamus O’Keefe was kind enough to answer a few of our questions in part one of our Brier Q&A series. The Brier holds a special place in the hearts of Canadians and we were delighted to learn more about the event.

What made the bid successful?

Community engagement. Every time we steeped up and asked for support, the community rallied. The ticket deposit drive was very successful and it opened up doors with our funding partners, There was also a sense that it was time to come back to St. John’s after 40 years,

Did the renovated convention centre affect the bid?

It was a game changer. Without the increased capacity we would not have been able to host the Brier Patch which is a huge economic driver for Curling Canada. We would have been forced to look for other options, none of which made real good logistical sense. Having a direct connection to Mile One and the host hotel (Delta St. John’s didn’t hurt our bid either.

convention-centre-2

 

 

Did the Sport Tourism Event Partnership (STEP) boost the bid? If yes, how so?

The STEP board identified the opportunity and made it a priority to pursue. Having the funding partners at the table helped access the required resources.  STEP, in conjunction with Destination St. John’s, led the production of the bid document that was eventually submitted.

How have ticket sales been thus far?

Very strong. Curling Canada has taken notice and as a result will shift some of their advertising priorities away from ticket selling. As of May 9th, there are 3400+ full event passes sold.

What will the mini packages consist of?

TBD. Based on history, you can expect to see both Opening and Championship weekend packages, and probably a Home Team package. There won’t be many of these type available give the current trending of ticket sales.

End of Part 1. Follow us on Twitter for more Brier updates.

 

Jeremy Reynolds

Jeremy is a Broadcaster and Correspondent with Bell AliantTV1. Previously, he was a post game interviewer with the St. John's IceCaps of the AHL and Co-Host/Producer of Netcrashers Hockey Podcast.