Field taking shape

CON GRIWKOWSKY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:37 AM ET

WAINWRIGHT -- The way the field is shaping up for the men's provincials being held here in February suits local chairman Don Isaman just fine.

Wainwright has plenty of marquee appeal now that Randy Ferbey has all but officially qualified for the event.

Defending champion Kevin Martin and Kevin Koe were already in, as was Ted Appelman. That means the field already includes four of current top seven teams in the world.

"It gives us an excellent start," said Isaman. "Whether you want a nice field or a good field ... we've got a good field. That's without anybody else who will earn their berths to the event."

The only other top-seven team missing right now is Chris Schille, whose team won the Whitehorse Spiel on Sunday.

"It would be good to have that team here too," said Isaman about the squad that includes two-time world junior champion Charley Thomas throwing skip rocks. "It would be nice to have some young blood that's competitive in the provincial."

The community has fully thrown its support behind this event and only one of the 23 ice-level boxes remain unsold.

"Ticket sales are a bit slow right now, but I expect it to pick up after Christmas," said Isaman. "You're not going to get a huge response at this time, especially with the Continental Cup in Camrose (in mid-December) and other events that are going on."

Isaman and his crew took on hosting the Alberta women's earlier this year just so they would get a shot at the 2009 Alberta men's.

"We know we have to make a few modifications from last year. but ice won't be one of the issues," said Isaman. "When Tim Yeo and his crew show up, the ice will be in pretty good shape and it shouldn't be an issue."

On the business side, any tickets sold for the 1,500-seat arena will be a bonus. What promises to be an artistic success is already assured to be a financial success.


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