Women's worlds on track

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

It was not that long ago the ticket sales were a grave concern.

It even got to the point where some suggested very few would bother to attend the 2007 World Women's Hockey Championship -- especially those games where Canada was not involved.

Well, organizers were 300 packages short of reaching the 90,000 mark as of yesterday morning, event chair Polly Craik said.

"We're well on our way," said Craik, who acknowledged those ducat worries. "You know, we've been working hard and we've had a really great group of volunteers in the community. Our goal is to hit 100,000 -- 110,000 would be perfect. That's what I'm aiming for. The record was 94,000 when it was held in Halifax in 1994.

"We're right on track, but let's get to that 110,000. If we're going to go over that 94,000, let's go all the way ... We've got some really great fans to show our team and the other teams what Winnipeg's about and what a worlds is all about. Let's get out to cheer them on."

NO REST

And they are not about to wipe the sweat off their brow just yet.

The host committee announced both a Fan Fest and an Ice Breaker Block Party to coincide with the games that being April 3.

The Fan Fest will kick off the championship at the Winnipeg Convention Centre on March 31 and April 1. The Fest will include interactive games, information technology and a Kids Zone.

Team Canada players will appear at a pep rally on April 1 (1-3 p.m.) -- their only scheduled opportunity to meet and greet the fans.

Fans with any world games tickets will get in free while others will have to pay $5 each.

The Ice Breaker gala will be held on the parking lot just outside of the MTS Centre on Thursday, April 5, and will coincide with the Canada-Germany game. It will include a corporate street hockey tournament and a massive beer gardens with live entertainment, which will include Men in Kilts, at night.

CELEBRATION

Corporate teams can still get into the tourney for $150.

Admission to the party will be free with a ticket to the Canada-Germany match, or $8 admission for adults and $4 for kids.

The two events "will help bring the community and hockey fans together to further celebrate the hosting of the world championship," Craik said.

"This is the springboard into the Olympics in 2010 and we're determined that we're going to put on the best event the world has ever seen."

Individual ducats are still on sale for all but the gold medal match, which is available in the go-for-gold three-pack at Ticketmaster.


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