Jeremy Sztuka hopes to entice chess players to the 2nd annual Smiths Falls Open Chess Tournament in mid-August with some help from council members. He approached Committee of the Whole Monday with an ask of $2000, all of which would go directly to prizes for the players.
His reasoning is he can attract between 35-50 players this year (up from the 26 last year) by offering a larger prize pot. “Some people would be lured if the prize fund was higher,” he said, explaining that the money would help pay for their stay in Town.
“In my experience as a player,” he said, “tournaments that advertise higher prize amounts will attract more players, especially out-of-Town players. These players will need local hotel accommodation on Friday and Saturday night and will likely be eating out at nearby restaurants.”
Having gone through the numbers, he added, if the Town invests “$2,000, the Town will see $8,000 in return.”
On questioning, Sztuka said the players are mostly male, in the 8-10 age range but usually one or two parents accompany them. “This year we’re expecting lots under 18.” In his opinion this might be considered an “investment” rather than an “expense” to the Town.
The tournament is scheduled for August 18 and 19 and the request will be brought to and discussed at a future Committee of the Whole meeting.