It was back in February of 2014 that we first announced that a curling club had been formed in Buffalo. After years of seeing WNY curlers heading to Niagara Falls, Ontario to play, ice time had finally come to Buffalo, thanks to the ice at RiverWorks. The Buffalo River complex proved to be the perfect stepping stone to energize the local curling community. After a couple of years of hosting leagues, learn to curls, and tournaments (aka bonspiels), the newly formed Buffalo Curling Club decided that it was time to get serious about the sport. “It got to the point that we were seeing a number of cancellations due to weather,” said club president Danielle Buchbinder. “While RiverWorks was a great place to grow, we needed to find an indoor facility.”
And that is exactly what they did. They hooked up with Kevin Callahan over at Buffalo China (learn more) who loved the idea of hosting an indoor curling facility at 75 Hayes Place in South Buffalo. The great thing about Kevin is that he’s not all talk. If he likes an idea, he helps to see it through. Thankfully, Danielle not only has great players out on the ice, she has cultivated an impressive team off ice. So when the time came to put the plan into action, she had all of the pieces of the puzzle in place.
The plan? The plan is to build a couple of sheets, pending City approval, which they expect to get soon. “If everything goes smooth (that’s a curling pun), we could be up and running by the first week in December,” Danielle told me. “We have cleaned the space (no easy task), and the flooring is level. Next we will lay out insulation, roll out the matting, fill it with glycol, and turn on the chiller, which is being installed soon.” Next year they are hoping to add two more sheets … and a bar! There is room for a total of six sheets, which means that there is room to grow. They are also building a wall between the cold space (the sheets) and the warm space (for onlookers).
The new facility will allow the Buffalo Curling Club to grow in ways that it could not have before. Last year, curlers had to cancel 13 games due to weather. Moving forward, that will not be a problem, which means that the players will all have more ice time, and more fun. At this point, Danielle is reaching out to the club’s membership and working on scheduling ice time. To start, leagues will be running Monday through Thursday – 10 or 20 week sessions, with 6pm or 8pm options and Friday through Sunday will be available for group rentals and special events. There is still plenty of room on Thursdays at 6pm for new teams, as well as some other available spots.
“People are really into curling right now,” said Danielle. “We plan on hosting special events surrounding The Olympics. Our full season members are also excited, because now they will be able to practice during open ice times for free, which was not the case before. We’re super excited about this new indoor facility. We owe special thanks to Northwest Bank, which supplied us with financing, when other banks would not. We are also counting on capital campaign financing.”
The Buffalo Curling Club consists of nearly 300 members from three counties in Western New York.
Once again, the spirit and drive of one person, has helped to create a movement. Over the course of a couple of years, that movement has gained tremendous speed and support from others who are excited to be part of the local curling scene. “It’s super exciting,” said Danielle. “It’s been a lot of hard work, and a huge team effort to get to where we are today.”
Now, it’s time to sign up, get behind the effort, support it… do whatever it takes to ensure that the Buffalo Curling Club can continue to provide the proper resources for a vibrant curling community.
Call/Text: 716.464.CURL (2875)