2023 PointsBet Invitational in Oakville, Ont., attracts stellar season-opening field
Canada’s best men’s and women’s curling teams — including many stars of tomorrow — are heading to Oakville, Ont., next month for a season-opening showdown unlike any other in curling.
The 2023 PointsBet Invitational, scheduled for Sept. 27-Oct. 1 at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville, will feature 16 women’s and 16 men’s teams chasing their share of a prize purse of more than $350,000 in the tension-filled sudden-death, single-knockout competition.
Thirty of the 32 teams that will play in Oakville are now known, and the first-round matchups and draw times have been set, meaning fans can lock down their seats for their preferred packages by purchasing tickets at www.curling.ca/2023pointsbetinvitational/tickets. Available ticket packages provide savings of up to 25 per cent compared to single-draw ticket prices.
Here’s how teams qualified:
- The top 10 highest-ranked women’s and men’s teams on the final 2022-23 Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) standings.
- The 2022-23 Ontario women’s and men’s champions.
- The women’s and men’s champions of the 2023 New Holland Canadian Junior (Under 21) Championships.
- The women’s and men’s champions of the 2023 Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA)/Curling Canada College Championships.
- The women’s and men’s champions of the 2023 U SPORTS/Curling Canada Canadian University Championships.
- The women’s and men’s champions of the Curling Canada Under-25 NextGen Classic in early September.
- The women’s and men’s champions of the 2022 Everest Canadian Curling Club Championships.
To claim those berths, teams needed to have three of the four players still in the lineup with whom they qualified, which ruled out Ontario men’s champ Team Mike McEwen, among others.
But McEwen will still be in Oakville with his new Saskatchewan-based team, which had three players still intact from last season and qualified through the Canadian Team Ranking System standings.
If any of the six championship-event qualifying teams were already in the top 10 of the 2022-23 CTRS, they were replaced by the runners-up of their respective events, as was the case with Ontario Scotties champion Team Rachel Homan, who qualified through the CTRS. That team’s Ontario champion berth now goes to Ontario runner-up Team Hollie Duncan of Woodstock, Ont., while Team McEwen’s Ontario men’s champion berth now goes to runner-up Team Glenn Howard of Penetanguishene, Ont.
You can see the full event schedule by CLICKING HERE. Seedings to set the brackets are based on the 2022-23 CTRS standings; the winners of the Under-25 NextGen Classic will automatically be seeded 13th.
Here’s how the first-round Sweep 16 matchups look in both genders (including seedings and how they qualified; all times Eastern):
Wednesday, Sept. 27
1. Team Kerri Einarson (CTRS; Gimli, Man.) vs. 16. Team Josie Zimmerman (CCAA champion, University of Alberta, Augustana Campus; Camrose, Alta.)
4. Team Kaitlyn Lawes (CTRS; Winnipeg) vs. 13. Under-25 NextGen Classic women’s champions
5. Team Clancy Grandy (CTRS; Vancouver) vs. 12. Team Hollie Duncan (Ontario champion; Woodstock, Ont.)
8. Team Kayla Skrlik (CTRS; Calgary) vs. 9. Team Danielle Inglis (CTRS; Ottawa)
Thursday, Sept. 28
2. Team Rachel Homan (CTRS; Ottawa) vs. 15. Team Shaelyn Park (Everest Club Championships winner; Moncton, N.B.)
3. Team Jennifer Jones (CTRS; Winnipeg) vs. 14. Team Myla Plett (New Holland Canadian Junior Championships winner; Sherwood Park, Alta.)
6. Team Christina Black (CTRS; Halifax) vs. 11. Team Nancy Martin (CTRS; Saskatoon)
7. Team Isabelle Ladouceur (CTRS; Dundas, Ont.) vs. 10. Team Selena Gray-Withers (U SPORTS Championships winner, University of Alberta; Edmonton)
Wednesday, Sept. 27
1. Team Brad Gushue (CTRS; St. John’s, N.L.) vs. 16. Team Greg Balsdon (Everest Club Championships winner; Richmond Hill, Ont.)
4. Team Kevin Koe (CTRS; Calgary) vs. 13. Under-25 NextGen Classic men’s champions
5. Team Reid Carruthers (CTRS; Winnipeg) vs. 12. Team Johnson Tao (New Holland Canadian Junior Championships winner; Edmonton)
8. Team John Epping (CTRS; Toronto) vs. 9. Team Ryan Wiebe (CTRS; Winnipeg)
Thursday, Sept. 28
2. Team Brendan Bottcher (CTRS; Calgary) vs. 15. Team Jacob Dobson (CCAA champion, Humber College; Toronto)
3. Team Matt Dunstone (CTRS; Winnipeg) vs. 14. Team Sam Mooibroek (U SPORTS Championships winner, Wilfrid Laurier University; Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont.)
6. Team Karsten Sturmay (CTRS; Edmonton) vs. 11. Team Glenn Howard (Ontario champion; Penetanguishene, Ont.)
7. Team Aaron Sluchinski CTRS; Airdrie, Alta.) vs. 10. Team Mike McEwen (CTRS; Saskatoon)
Ticket-package sales have picked up recently, so now that the Sweep 16 matchups are set and packages providing fans with the best value are available, you’ll need to act quickly to make sure you get the seat you want.
Fans can choose from the following options:
- Full-Event Package ($220-250): A single ticket to every draw of the PointsBet Invitational. Ten draws total per package.
- Weekend Package ($100 – $120): A single ticket to both men’s and women’s Final Four and Championship Final draws. Four draws per package.
- Weekday Package ($40 – $50): A single ticket to two draws on either Wednesday, Thursday or Friday’s Sweep 16 and Elite Eight draws. Two draws per package.
All ticket packages are subject to standard ticket service fees.
Tickets are available online through Ticketmaster via curling.ca/tickets. There is no on-site box office at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex before the event. All ticket inquiries should be sent to PBItickets@curling.ca.
All single-draw tickets will go on sale on Thursday, Sept. 7 at 10 a.m. Eastern.
The second edition of the PointsBet Invitational will also offer fans the chance to win a $1-million prize through the Sweep 16 Bracket Challenge. Fans who correctly predict a perfect men’s and women’s bracket will win $1 million from PointsBet Canada. Further details will be announced in the coming weeks, as will information on entertainment during the event.
All 32 competing teams will receive $5,000 to cover travel and accommodation costs, and teams will earn more money for each successive win in the single-knockout tournament — $3,000 for a first-round win, $6,000 for a quarterfinal win, $12,000 for a semifinal win and $24,000 to the victorious women’s and men’s teams, meaning the two winning teams will each collect a total of $50,000.
At the inaugural PointsBet Invitational in September in Fredericton, Team Jennifer Jones won the women’s title, while Team Reid Carruthers prevailed in the men’s event.
TSN/RDS2, the official broadcast partner of Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, will televise the action from Oakville.
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