World's Best Bridge Players Will Celebrate Thanksgiving in Providence

World's Best Bridge Players Will Celebrate Thanksgiving in Providence

American Contract Bridge League Expects Approximately 5,000 Players Over 11 Days

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island
– Every year, thousands of bridge players gather together on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the holiday and, more importantly, to kick off the final of three annual tournaments known as the North American Bridge Championships (NABC).

More than 5,000 bridge players from 15 nations are expected to attend the Fall North American Bridge Championships in Providence, Rhode Island. The NABCs are hosted by the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL), and are held three times a year across the U.S. and Canada to bring together players of all skill levels, from newcomer to advanced, with opportunities for everyone to play daily. NABC Providence is being held at the Rhode Island Convention Center from Nov. 27 to Dec. 7, with games beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing throughout each day, ending with 11:30 p.m. sessions.

For many bridge players, spending Thanksgiving in a convention center playing the game they love with their friends and peers has become a tradition.

“There is certainly a family-oriented aspect of bridge, and many players form tight-knit groups,” said Robert Hartman, CEO of ACBL. “We're coming to Providence to host the best players in the game, but also to give thanks for all we have, which for our members includes the ability to play the game they love so much.”

NABC participants are expected to generate approximately $8.5 million in economic activity for Providence, and are projected to fill up more than 13,000 hotel rooms over the 11-day event.

“We expect this tournament to be a real boon for the local economy,” said John Gibbons, executive director of the Rhode Island Sports Commission. “It's great to have our hotels full and restaurants and shops busy over the Thanksgiving holiday.”

ACBL is encouraging Providence-area residents to attend “Learn Bridge in a Day?” – a session that teaches the basics of the game to beginners – on Sunday, Nov. 30, from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Rhode Island Convention Center. The $20 class, led by renowned bridge teacher Patty Tucker, aims to educate novice bridge players and to promote the game to new audiences. Participants can reserve a seat by visiting http://bit.ly/1wgNbCa.

In addition, the ACBL Charitable Foundation will be presenting a $5,000 check to Edesia Global Nutrition Solutions, a nonprofit based in Providence that aims to reduce childhood malnutrition in developing countries worldwide. NABC Providence is sponsored by Alex and Ani.

“Providence has a rich bridge history dating back to Harold Sterling Vanderbilt, great-grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, who invented the rules for contract bridge,” said Joe Brouillard, local tournament co-chairman. “We're excited to host this celebration of the game of bridge.”

(release from NABC Providence)