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A Popular Winter Sport Sweeps Through Rochester

February 12, 2018 07:45 PM

(ABC 6 News)-- A local group brought the Olympics a little closer to home while sweeping up interest in a classic winter sport.

Monday night, the Curling Club of Rochester hosted its Winterfest "Outdoor Curling & Olympic Watch Party" event.

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“Easy to play, easy to get better, but you will never perfect it so it's kind of challenging in that aspect,” said Stephen Russell.

The Olympic Winter Games are creating a lot of noise for the popular sport.

“A lot of people are watching curling, learning curling and a lot of the curlers being from this area,” said a Co-Founder of the local club, Scott Hoss. “We are seeing a huge spike right now.”

Rochester is the biggest city in Minnesota without a curling facility, and with the closest one being in Owatonna.

It’s a question of whether there's enough interest in the sport to build one locally.

“We have been overwhelmed by the demand,” said Hoss. “We can sustain a curling club based on a pro forma that we have done if we have 500 members.”

Through events like the Outdoor Curling & Olympic Watch Party, the club hopes to reach that number.

“Then get in front of the park board, we need to get in front of the County Commissioners and see what makes the most sense,” said Hoss.

A public-private or completely private partnership would get the "stones sliding".

“When you're talking about raising millions of dollars to have a designated facility, you have got to go about it the right way,” said Hoss.

The hope is to have a facility up and running within the next three years.

“It can't happen soon enough for me,” said Hoss.


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Hannah Tiede

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