The Four Seasons Curling Club, located at Fogerty Arena in Blaine, will host national and international curlers vying for points and cash prizes in an inaugural Cash ‘Spiel, starting at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20 and continuing throughout the weekend including the finals on Sunday. The Cash ‘Spiel is part of the Great Lakes Curling Tour and the World Curling Tour. The event is open and free to the public.
The Cash ‘Spiel is run by 2010 Olympic curler John Benton, director of Club curling operations. He expects more than 100 curlers will compete. Points earned count towards national eligibility which leads to Olympic Trials placement.
The Four Seasons Curling Club is one of eight locations in the Great Lakes Curling Tour. Cash prizes range from $3,000 to $21,500. Fifteen men’s teams will compete this weekend for a $10,000 purse. A dozen women’s teams will compete for $7,000.
Minnesotans participating include Olympians and current Olympic Trial players Allison Pottinger and Cassie Potter, 2013 Olympic Trials player Stephanie Sambor, and World bronze medalist Todd Birr. Other notable locals include Alex Carlson and Doug Pottinger, who happens to be Allison’s husband.
Some of the competitors are making a return visit after completing the High Performance Camps held earlier this year at the Club.
Spectators can watch curling action from the attached full-service bar and restaurant, Gabe’s Rinkside Bar & Grill, which will offer specials throughout the weekend.
The Club is already planning a U.S. Open Cash ‘Spiel for January, thanks to growing interest in the new facility, according to Regan Mizuno, assistant director at the Club.
“The Club has enjoyed tremendous success since we opened in January,” Mizuno said. “We’re exceeding our first year expectations for registrations in leagues, learn-to-curls and corporate events and are looking forward to what is sure to be a booming Olympic season.”