Patch roarin' along at trials

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 1:29 PM ET

Forget bang for the buck, this year's Keith's Patch made a boom to accompany the Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials.

Early estimates place this year's proceeds right in the middle of previous party patches held during the 2005 Brier and '07 World Championships.

While Edmonton's Brier in the year of the NHL lockout drew a record 281,985 fans, that Patch typically had a different style of curling fan --and non-fans alike -- who were there to be part of the action.

Still, the Roar of the Rings hasn't disappointed this year's organizers

"I'd be saying it looks like over the half-million (mark) for revenues," said Patch and Lounge vice-president Tracy Telford yesterday.

Although it surpassed patch proceeds in '07, the figures didn't quite reach expectations.

"It wouldn't have met our original budget, but our original budget was based on attendance of 180,000 and last I heard I think we were 168,000," said Telford. "But there also were some no-shows along the way with the bad weather."

While the snow and cold kept a few fans away from the pebbled ice, many who came for the curling stayed for the Patch.

"With the actual attendance, I think we're pretty happy with what we did in the Patch and the O Canada Lounge," said Telford.

Last Friday saw the biggest crowd of the week, who was treated to ABBA and Fleetwood Mac cover bands, as well as local country trio Hey Romeo to open.

"I guess a little surprising -- or perhaps not so surprising with the men's draw in the afternoon -- we had actually a really big afternoon and then the evening probably wasn't as big as we were expecting between the difference in attendance between the men's and women's.

"Certainly overall it was a really good day for us. They haven't given me the final count but I believe we would have exceeded $100,000 in revenue for the one day."

This year, the Patch will stay open after today's men's final instead of shutting down like previous years.

"We're staying open until 7 p.m.," Telford said. "I don't think it will be huge. Sunday, not a lot of people are looking to party hard, but a lot of people enjoy going over there for a couple and discussing what hopefully is an amazing final."

GERRY.MODDEJONGE@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos