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North Bay will host national curling event in October

First event in Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling will take place at Memorial Gardens
The BOOST National curling event in Chestermere, Alta., in 2021

National curling is returning to North Bay this fall.

The Gateway City has been tapped to host the first event of a six-event tour across Canada as part of the Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling.

The BOOST National, scheduled for Oct. 4-9, 2022 at North Bay's Memorial Gardens, will draw the 15 best women's teams and the 15 best men's teams from around the world to compete for a $250,000 purse.

Subsequent events will take place in Grande Prairie, Alta.; Oakville, Ont.; Camrose, Alta.; Toronto; and Regina, Sask.

North Bay has drawn a number of high-profile curling events in recent years.

In 2019, the city hosted the Masters tournament, which broke attendance records by more than 12,000 people.

The previous year, when North Bay welcomed the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship, organizers estimated it generated a $7-million economic impact in the city.

Built in 1955, Memorial Gardens has undergone extensive renovations in the last decade to promote the facility as a multi-purpose events venue.

The arena underwent $16.2 million in renovations in 2013, including a new video board, private suites, media centre upgrades, improved and expanded seating, and a licensed lounge.

Another $1 million was earmarked in 2015 for electrical upgrades, new audiovisual enhancements, parking lot improvements, speaker and spotlight supports, removable seating, and ceiling-to-floor drapery and curtains.