July 18th, 2024

Bridge Battle attracts the biggest amount of teams yet

By Lethbridge Herald on November 15, 2023.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

Many teams are set to take the ice beginning Friday to battle in the annual Lethbridge Ringette Association-hosted  Bridge Battle ringette tournament, in what  organizers consider to be the biggest one to date.

“I think it’s something that a lot of people don’t realize how big it actually is,” said Cara Parks, Lethbridge Ringette Association president.

“There aren’t a lot of events in the city or other organizations that would host an event in one weekend that would have this many teams participating. This year we have 54 teams participating over three days, which is the biggest we’ve ever had. I think the closest one we had was 51 teams here a few years ago.”

The tournament acts a fundraiser for LRA.

“We do rely on it to generate some extra sponsorship dollars and revenue for our association so that we can help try and keep our costs as low as possible and make it affordable for families to participate in,” said Parks.

Parks thinks it’s a good way to showcase ringette.

“We have teams participating that are like U10- Step 1 which is kind of our entry level sort of teams all the way up to Open A ,which is adult high level ringette, including university teams, and this year we’ll actually be having in their Open A division, … have four university teams participating,” said Parks.

“So it is a very high level of ringette. We have a lot of teams locally that are participating with 13 home teams in the tournament. It’s a great opportunity for them to get to  showcase in front of their fans, and friends and family the sport and their teams.”

The tournament does leave a substantial economic impact on the city every year.

“We actually did have a sport tourism economic assessment model done back pre COVID days, and our tournament was I think in that 42 to 46 team range. And at that time according to that report we were bringing in over a million dollars to the City of the Lethbridge in the weekend with respect to the contribution to the economy,” said Parks.

“And so, I would expect just with everything else that’s gone up and the number of teams we’re bringing in, it’s going to be a huge injection into the city this weekend with well over a million dollars in additional revenue that they wouldn’t see otherwise. So it’s not only a big event for our association, it’s a big event for the city. The hotels know it, the restaurants know it. They’re planning around it. It’s on the map for everybody in the city that has any hospitality-type of business.”

Schedules for each division can be found at www. lethbridgeringettetournaments.com.

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