The Bay Area has never had a dedicated facility devoted exclusively to curling, the strange, shuffleboard-style ice-and-broom sport that has seen a brief craze every four years when the Winter Olympics roll around. But the Bay has been home to California's oldest established curling group, the San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club, which was established in 1958.
Now that club has a curling facility of their own, as the Bay Area News Group reports that they’ve opened a curling facility in Oakland, just blocks from the Oakland Arena and the Coliseum (8450 Enterprise Way). While there have been various one-off individual curling events at Bay Area ice rinks, this is our first dedicated curling-only facility.
The Bay Area News Groups ran the headline “The world’s best new curling facility just opened in Oakland,” which may be a little hyperbolic. This San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club rink actually opened more than five months ago back in March. And whether it’s “world’s best new curling facility” seems like a claim that may not have been globally researched.
But it is clearly a very unique curling facility, with ice bearing Black Lives Matter logos and images of cats. The News Group describes the rink as “spacious and surgically clean with the temperature of a supermarket cooler. People slide 40-plus pound stones over five lanes of white ice, while others run brooms ahead of the rocks shouting ‘Sweep!’ and ‘Whoa!’ as if yelling at horses.”
And its opening has been a decades-long dream of the SF Bay Area Curling Club. “There’s no real money in curling right now because we’re not the NFL or the NBA,” the club’s board member Adriana Camarena tells the News Group. “Basically, we got a very significant loan from a curler whose name I can’t say, but who supported our club to finish our construction project. That loan was entirely backed by other curlers in our community and from afar who wanted to see us succeed.”
Could you, or an aspiring young athlete, practice at this facility and eventually play in the Winter Olympics? It’s possible. The Olympics organization USA Curling is holding an event and meetup there on September 20-22, 2022.