Snocross on move

ADAM WAZNY -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 1:55 PM ET

The Fishbowl will soon become the Icebowl.

In its seven-year history, the home of the Winnipeg Goldeyes -- CanWest Global Park -- has never hosted an on-field, winter event.

That will change on the weekend of Feb. 25-26, when the PowerSports Snowmobile Association holds the seventh round of its 2005-06 season at the downtown diamond.

"We've never really been associated with winter," said Goldeyes chief financial officer Jason McRae-King, one of the people responsible for making the venue a year-round facility now.

"When we did the expansion and put in (the restaurant), that brings people down to the ball park in the wintertime, but not for sporting events," McRae-King continued. "We're not only looking at the city of Winnipeg but we're also looking at rural Manitoba, too.

"We want to create an opportunity for people to come right downtown and be at the ball park."

Races in a number of different age groups and skill levels will be showcased, including the junior, sport, women's, semi-pro and pro classes.

"The pros will run their three rounds and a last-chance qualifier on Saturday, the final will be run on Sunday," WPSA tour race director Blair Bodley said yesterday.

Sunday's events will also be broadcast on ESPN 2, but will be seen on tape delay.

Organizers are also introducing a 300-class and a kid's class, and are hopeful a number of local participants will come forward for those two groups. As the event is weather-driven, snow will be made at the ball park at the start of the new year, just to make sure there's enough.

While the people at CanWest Global Park are excited to see their facility being used during the non-baseball season, Bodley admits people associated with the WPSA can't wait to see how the sport looks in a new venue.

The past few years, the snocross was held at Assiniboia Downs -- similar to the way the event is run in other stops of the tour, in football stadiums and in wide open spaces.

The intimate surrounding of the Fishbowl should give people an up-close and personal view of the big airs and the high-speed hairpin turns of the sport -- a sport brought to the spotlight thanks to the success of the Winter X-Games.

"The viewing is perfect here," Bodley, a Winnipegger, said of the sight-lines. "Usually, we're racing in front a set of stands, but here, with the configuration of the baseball park, it's ideally suited to what we do."

Tickets go on sale today at all Ticketmaster locations. Passes are $15 for the Saturday, $25 for the Sunday. A two-day adult pass is $35 dollars, while a weekend family pass is $99.


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