TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – The Traverse City Curling Club has opened The TC Curling Center after having an open house over the weekend. They boast that their facility has 28,000 square feet, five sheets of regulation curling ice, classes on curling by certified instructors, and the center will host regional and national competitions. It’s a dedicated indoor ice arena, where curlers can practice, play and compete year-round.
After years of planning, the center is welcoming all ages, ability and expertise to come to the center and try out the sport with youth programs and leagues for everyone. Participants can become a member, sign up for competitive league play, host corporate events, or volunteer at the center.
The club describes curling as a “little bit like baseball, bocce, engineering, interval training and yoga combined” and they offer instructors who will show everyone the basics and help people safely try curling for the first time in a 90-minute on-ice class including all the fundamentals and they say it’s ideal for “date night” or a group of friends. The sport is multi-generational where parents can play with their kids and grandchildren can play with their grandparents.
For those who just want to watch, the club also lets folks show up and watch the curlers for free in a spot with chairs behind glass. And those who can’t skate don’t have to worry because you won’t be wearing ice skates. The club says “clean, rubber-soled athletic shoes are best for curling” and they provide grippers (rubber slip-ons or rubber bands in a snap) to help the curlers.
The $8 million price tag of the center was paid through financing, private donations and, according to Michigan Capitol Confidential, a $2 million taxpayer funded grant in the 2023 state budget labeled “Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Boilerplate Earmarks.” The money was used to renovate the old retail building that was the former home of Kmart in Traverse City’s Cherryland Center.
The mission of the Traverse City Curling Club is “building a strong community through the sport of curling” and their vision says, “The club strives to be the epicenter for an inclusive, socially engaging community through the culture of curling. The TCCC offers the sport of curling to a diverse membership in a welcoming environment. The TCCC operates a high- quality facility, trains and develops its curlers, and helps to expand curling in the state of Michigan. Members of all ages enjoy the unique social and competitive aspects of the sport in a community that fosters sportsmanship, volunteerism, friendship, and tradition.”