The World Curling Federation (WCF) has announced that China will host the final of its inaugural World Series of Curling, a new annual four-leg international competition that will debut in the 2018/19 season.
The first leg will be hosted in China, with the second leg in the European Zone and the third leg will be in the Americas Zone, while the WCF has confirmed that the Grand Final will be held in Beijing, which is the host venue of the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The initial concept for the World Series of Curling was developed by the WCF and its marketing partner, Infront Sports & Media.
The news comes on the back of a 2016 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Chinese Curling Association (CCA) and the WCF to develop curling in China. The accord included an agreement from the CCA to fund the World Series of Curling.
The WCF has revealed that Chinese company Kingdomway Sports has agreed to invest at least US$10 million over a four-year period.
“Since then [the 2016 MoU], we have been in negotiation with the CCA,” said Kate Caithness, president of the WCF. “The CCA introduced us to potential sponsors and we are delighted to announce that we have now signed a multi-million dollar contract with Kingdomway Sports for the period of the next Olympic Winter Games cycle from 2018 to 2022.
“This is a huge step forward for our sport and it marks the most significant step so far, that takes the World Series of Curling from a concept to it being realised and we look forward to our partnership with both the sponsor and the CCA.”