Brier winners won't suffer a net loss anymore

CanWest News Service
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

curling

There was a time not so very long ago when winning the Brier was a money-losing proposition.

"We won nothing - zero - when we won the Brier in 1996," Winnipeg skip Jeff Stoughton recalled. "There was no prize money, there was no funding. There was nothing, other than they covered your expenses to be there.

"But if you wanted to bring your wife and kids, that came out of your own pocket. They gave your wife tickets to the event, but I remember lining up at the ticket counter because they wouldn't give my kids tickets. And then there was flights for my wife and kids, hotel rooms for my wife and kids."

Winnipeg - There was a time not so very long ago when winning the Brier was a money-losing proposition.

"We won nothing - zero - when we won the Brier in 1996," Winnipeg skip Jeff Stoughton recalled. "There was no prize money, there was no funding. There was nothing, other than they covered your expenses to be there.

"But if you wanted to bring your wife and kids, that came out of your own pocket. They gave your wife tickets to the event, but I remember lining up at the ticket counter because they wouldn't give my kids tickets. And then there was flights for my wife and kids, hotel rooms for my wife and kids."

Stoughton said the bills only got worse when he won the Brier that year and had to then play at the worlds in Hamilton, where he had all the same expenses again and was actually worse off financially than the European teams who'd flown over to play at the event.

"The Canadians weren't allowed to wear any sponsorships and the CCA (Canadian Curling Association) wasn't providing us with any cresting opportunities," recalls Stoughton. "And then lo and behold, we get out on the ice and Sweden is wearing a AAA Alarms crest and Norway is wearing M & M Meats. And there we were, thinking, 'Wait a minute... '

"At the end of the day, I bet winning the Brier that year probably cost each of us on the team at least $4,000 of our own money. And that doesn't even take into account all the time off work... It wasn't much of a deal to win the Brier back then, that's for sure."

Things have improved considerably for curlers at the Brier, but the money now associated with winning one of curling's biggest prizes continues to pale in comparison to the windfalls available to athletes in other sports.

Still, at least when they crown the Brier champion at Winnipeg's MTS Centre March 16, the four men who hoist the trophy won't have to worry about going into debt for winning the right to represent Canada on the world stage.

Here's what this year's Brier winners will receive:

The four players on the winning team will receive a total of $144,000 in funding from Sport Canada over the next two years. That's tax-free funding, translating into $18,000 per player per year.

Then there's the $40,000 in "appearance" money teams receive for playing in the final. For complicated tax reasons that have to do with the CCA maintaining their status as an amateur sport governing body, the CCA stresses the payout is not prize money, but rather compensation for teams wearing the Tim Hortons crest on TV in the final.

For this same reason, both teams in the final receive cheques for $40,000, win or lose. Additionally, the third-place team gets $30,000, the fourth-place team gets $20,000 and the eight non-playoff teams will each receive in the neighbourhood of $12,000 each.

The winning team also instantly becomes part of the national team program and there's more money that comes with that designation. Teams in that program receive $16,000-$24,000 in expense money for a period of 12 months, but they have to provide receipts to get paid.

Then there's some potential money that the winning Brier team could win over the next year. The winning Brier team receives automatic entry into the 2009 Continental Cup in Yorkton and the 2009 Canada Cup in Camrose. Victories in both events would be worth about another $35,000.

The winning team also receives an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2008 world men's curling championship, which is in Grand Forks, N.D., this year. There can also be a small amount of sponsorship money earned for wearing crests at the worlds.

Organizations: Curling Association, AAA Alarms, Tim Hortons

Geographic location: Winnipeg, Hamilton, Canada Sweden Norway Yorkton Camrose Grand Forks, N.D.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments