Olympic hopefuls will take to the ice at American Dream in East Rutherford, N.J. as they get closer to securing a spot on the USA Curling Team for the 2026 winter games in Italy.
The top teams in the country will compete for the national title at the 2024 US Men’s and Women’s National Championships at American Dream. The winners will move on to the 2024 World Curling Championships, representing the U.S. in Nova Scotia (Women) and Switzerland (Men).
The Sport of Curling: Here’s a Briefing
Curling is a game of strategy played on ice with opposing teams using brushes to slide 44-pound granite stones towards a target, according to the World Curling Federation. Each curler has a brush and wears special curling shoes, with one sole to grip the ice and the other to slide.
A sport touted for anyone of any age and ability — athletes have the opportunity to compete for fun or in the Paralympics or Olympics — curling is said to facilitate bonding among team members. Teams take turns, and group strategy drives results. Games include time built in for thinking.
It’s a puzzling sport that both fascinates and frustrates those a bit in the know and on the fringe, People deeply involved (see this Reddit community) say the sport is misunderstood. This infographic attempts to explain it all.
American Dream: Regulation Ice Rink + Built in Exposure
The sport of curling is a household name in certain parts of the country, like North Dakota, where it’s now the state’s official sport (the legislation was suggested by a sixth grade girl). It’s also known by those who are regular watchers of the Olympics. But it’s not quite a well-known Jersey sport — yet.
Growing the sport is part of the mission of USA Curling and American Dream’s Meadowlands location in the Metropolitan area offers busy foot traffic and a chance to gives mall visitors a “peek at the action on the ice,” USA Curling CEO Dean Gemmell said.
Photo by Jarrett Birnbaum/American Dream
American Dream’s NHL regulation size rink is home to women’s professional hockey team Metropolitan Riveters.
The venue also offers, of course, the necessary requirements for an Olympic-level event. The 2024 US Men’s and Women’s National Championships at American Dream will be played on the NHL regulation size rink that is the home of the women’s professional hockey team Metropolitan Riveters.
“We can’t wait to compete at the highest level in front of fans from New Jersey and New York,” said 2018 Olympic Gold Medalist John Shuster. “I’m sure the energy will be great, and my team is definitely looking forward to it.”
Introducing The Sport of Curling to More Audiences
The sport of curling is gaining in popularity, even in N,J, where indoor ice time can be hard to come by in many areas. A curling club in South Plainfield that was founded in 1963 is the only one in the state dedicated to the sport. Others exist in various capacities, some with ice time, some without. A club in Brooklyn in searching for a permanent home base.
Gemmell is hoping visitors at American Dream might see the games being played and decide to “even try the sport themselves,”
Gemmell called American Dream an “exciting new venue” and said the space was a contender to host the games since last year. After several conversations with the American Dream team and then a site visit two months ago, the deal was soon sealed.
“We are thrilled to be home to the US Men’s and Women’s National Curling Championships,” said Don Ghermezian, CEO of American Dream. “We know this is a hugely popular sport and are proud to deliver on our promise to provide the most unique experiences to our guests. We look forward to seeing these incredible teams compete.”
The games at American Dream will be played Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2024. Ticketing and additional championship information is scheduled for release soon and can be found here
Each game will have a ticketed capacity of about 2,000 people.
New Jersey Makes Sports History Again
Hosting a major curling championship is a first for the Meadowlands, the state of New Jersey and the New York City metropolitan area.
“We are proud to make New Jersey sports history once again by hosting the USA Curling National Championship for the first time,” said Gov. Phil Murphy, pointing to the 2021 Army-Navy Game, UFC 288, and other large-scale events.
He added that the state has a proven track record of success in hosting “highly anticipated marquee sporting events” that draw audiences from around the world.
“We look forward to building upon our impressive record by showcasing this exciting Olympic sport for national and global audiences alike,” Murphy said.
About American Dream
American Dream offers 3 million square feet of attractions, restaurants, and retail, including Nickelodeon, the largest indoor theme park in the country, and Big Snow, the nation’s only indoor skiing and snowboarding park. There are also numerous other entertainment activities for every age, plus more than 200 retail stores and restaurants, and Dream Wheel – a 300-foot observation wheel overlooking the NYC skyline.
Located on Rt 3 West in East Rutherford, American Dream is adjacent to the Meadowlands Sports Complex, which comprises Metlife Stadium, home to the New York Giants and New York Jets. The Sports Complex also includes the Meadowlands Racetrack, home to harness and thoroughbred horse racing as well as restaurants and entertainment.
About USA Curling
Founded in 1958 and headquartered in Eagan, Minnesota, USA Curling is the National Governing body for the Olympic sport of curling and the Paralympic sport of wheelchair curling in the United States. The mission of USA Curling is to grow, strengthen, and advocate for the Olympic and Paralympic sport of curling in the United States by prioritizing accessibility and programmatic development from grassroots to podium.
USA Curling is sponsored by Columbia Sportswear, Twin Cities Orthopedics, Training HAUS, Toyota, ISS (Ice, Sports & Solar), Rock Solid Productions, Jet Ice, and Laurie Artiss. USA Curling is a proud member of the World Curling Federation and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. To learn more, visit usacurling.org.