The Boost National, the second major tournament of the Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling, is returning to Conception Bay South for the second year in a row — an unusual scenario, but a welcomed event for Newfoundland curling fans.
The tournament begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday at CBS Arena, featuring 15 of the top men's teams and 15 of the women's teams from around the world — including Newfoundland and Labrador's own Brad Gushue rink — competing for a combined prize of $300,000.
"We treated them so well last year that they decided to come back. Newfoundland is known for its hospitality, so we kind of tried to pour it on last year to make sure that we could get it back," said Adrian Power, chair of the 2019 host committee.
Organizers estimate that the tournament also brought $2 million into the local economy.
Team Paterson from Glasgow, Scotland and Team Homan from Ottawa, Ont. won the men's and women's divisions, respectively.
Notable names for the 2019 event include Gushue, Brad Jacobs, Jennifer Jones, Anna Hasselborg, and world champions such as Niklas Edin and Silvana Tirinzoni among many more world class athletes.
"There's quite a lot of curling talent here. This is the who's who of curling," Power told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show.
The Boost National will run until Dec. 15. The men's and women's final will be held that afternoon, starting at 1:30 p.m.
Power said he's a little bit exhausted at this point, but he and 150 volunteers are eager to get the event going.
"It is a big event, and we pride ourselves on doing a good job. Last year everything went just ever so smooth, and we're hoping again this year it'll be the same," he said.
Teams have been rolling into Newfoundland as early as last Friday, when the first Japanese rink touched down in St. John's.
Most teams have been warming up at the ReMax Centre throughout the week while the ice at CBS Arena was being finished.
So far, Power said, there have been no complaints from any of the camps.
"The curlers are a really good bunch. You've got to think of these people as ambassadors for their countries. All they want to do is curl, and as long as everything runs smooth that way there's no problem," he said.
"We take care, we provide some food to the crew and the curlers and whatever. Our motto is 'whatever you want, we'll try and get it for you.'"
As of Tuesday morning, Power said there are still some tickets left for the draws. In fact, he said, there are roughly only 200 or less tickets remaining.
But, never fear. Power said once tickets run out there will be a release of standing room tickets.