Dollar daze for Rush

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:28 AM ET

The Edmonton Rush have longed to sell out Rexall Place for one of their National Lacrosse League games.

On Friday they hope to accomplish that by practically giving tickets away.

Yesterday the Rush announced they are offering $1 tickets to their game against the Philadelphia Wings Friday (7:30 p.m.) at Rexall Place in an effort to fill the building.

"In our game against Colorado this weekend which we won, we became very aware that fans in this city will jump behind us if we're winning games," said Rush owner Bruce Urban.

'GET STRENGTH'

"We feel we have the team to make a run for the playoffs. We need that extra player on the field, which is the fan. We want to pack Rexall Place to the rafters. People get strength from people, players get strength from fans and a sold-out house is going to help give our players the strength to win this Friday night's game."

The Rush go into Friday's game with a 3-5 record, currently fifth in the NLL West Division standings and half a game out of a playoff spot. The Wings are also 3-5, battling for a playoff spot in the East Conference.

"This promotion is for all the people that have wanted to check out professional lacrosse, but haven't been out to a professional lacrosse game," Urban said.

"We're asking Edmonton to come out, sample lacrosse. You're going to love it. It's exciting, it's fast-paced and for one dollar, it's great entertainment. Four quarters for four quarters of entertainment."

The Rush are in their fourth NLL season and have yet to make the playoffs.

This year the team is in a good position to qualify for the post-season, despite their record, due to the number of upcoming home games on the schedule.

Through three games this season, the Rush are officially averaging just over 7,000 fans per game. Urban was hoping to draw closer to 10,000 per contest when he brought the league to Edmonton.

"I have been disappointed (with the crowd), but I've also been disappointed we haven't been able to give the fans what they want, which is victories," Urban said.

"I think that if this was a winning team, we would have close to sellout crowds. People want to go and cheer on a winning team and we haven't been able to give them that the first three years here. In year No. 4, we feel we're going to make a run to the playoffs and we think that will change."

Not to be left out in the cold, season-seat holders will get a free ticket to either a playoff game or one of the remaining home games on the schedule.

"Our season-ticket holders have been so gracious and so good to us in supporting the team," Urban said.

"We don't want to leave them out."

NO DESPERATION

Urban insisted this isn't a desperation ticket sell-off, but one which will allow a sample of the game. There is no danger of the team leaving in the immediate future.

However, he would be surprised if this promotion didn't sell out the building.

"For people who haven't been to a game, this sport is fantastic, it's exhilarating," Urban said.

"These are the finest lacrosse players in the world. Calgary did it last year, they sold out the building and I would be very disappointed if we don't sell the building out and I'm confident that we will."

DEREK.VANDIEST@SUNMEDIA.CA


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