Numbers not there

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:21 AM ET

The World Curling Tour may be wishing it had moved its combined Player's Championships to Winnipeg rather than Calgary.

The $250,000 event, which featured both a men's and women's championship for the first time, drew only 22,000 to the Stampede Corral last week. Winnipeg's Grand Slam, which featured the men only, drew 43,523 in January, which was down slightly from the 47,000 in 2005.

But WCT executive director Paul Boutilier blamed the poor attendance on holding the event over Easter weekend.

"It's my mistake," he told The Canadian Press. "With a new event, you can't go on Easter."

Alberta's Randy Ferbey suggested it was also too late in the year to hold an event of that stature since most teams had been off the ice for at least a month.

The Player's Championships are committed to Calgary for the next three years when teams can earn points towards 2009 Olympic trials berths.

SHOVE IT: Ferbey defeated Alberta arch-rival Kevin Martin in Sunday's final to earn $50,000.

"We've won everything now other than the Olympic gold medal," the six-time Brier victor told CP after winning his second straight Grand Slam event this season. "We won a Players' Championship, we won a Slam event. Now all the critics can shove it you-know-where so there's no questioning anything now."

CASHING IN: When Manitoba's Jennifer Jones earned $30,000 by winning the Women's Players' Championship, it was believed to be the biggest payout to a women's squad.

Jones also won WCT awards last week for the "overall best statistical team" and the "best offensive team."

LUMSDEN WINNER: Glenboro's Bruce Anderson has been named the winner of the W.E. (Bill) Lumsden Memorial Award, the Manitoba Curling Association announced yesterday. Anderson has been a member of the Glenboro Curling Club executive for 24 years and has been involved in all aspects of club activities. He will be presented with the award at the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame Induction Dinner, May 7.


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