Sunday, November 02, 2008

Our thanks to Gerard McLaughlin and the Times & Transcript for the following article.
By Gerard McLaughlin
Get ready for the sound of swirling bagpipes -- long, loud and often.

If you are stressed out about finding a Christmas gift for that certain someone, World Men’s Curling Championship co-chairs Jim Lockyer and Mabel Deware have just the thing for you: New ticket packages to the championship weekend go on sale tomorrow. Moncton's prepping to host the biggest celebration ever in world curling, the 50th Ford World men's championship next spring and bagpipes, flags and ensuring a full house of fans at the 7,000-seat Coliseum is all a part of the package.

Chairman Jim Lockyer told a news conference yesterday that the 1980 Silver Broom world championship that Moncton hosted under the chairmanship of Bud Gerth is still regarded as the most memorable of any competition held anywhere.

And, he said Moncton's aim for the 2009 event, slated for April 4-12, is to try to meet or exceed that same excitement.

"It's a challenge but we can do it. We all have our shirt-sleeves rolled up. We have a tremendous organization and we're prepared to welcome the world," he said. "Already, in fact, months ago, we have 450 volunteers and a waiting list, 35 committee leaders and seven vice-chairs working hard to make this the most outstanding championship ever held."

Swirling bagpipes greeted the news conference audience and Lockyer said arrangements with pipers from HMCS Strathcona, Royal Canadian Regiment, as well as the RCMP and 8th Canadian Hussars were being courted to be involved in the opening night ceremonies.

"We are working on a 50th celebration for world curling, a once-in-a-lifetime celebration and we're working hard to make it one to remember, the best ever," Lockyer said.

The chairman also confirmed that as the 12 participating countries are determined, flag-raising ceremonies will be celebrated at Moncton's city hall. Naturally, swirling bag-pipes will be once again be front and centre in those events.

Meanwhile, new ticket packages were also introduced yesterday.

To date only gold, sliver and bronze total event packages could be purchased and Lockyer said "they have done well" and met organization expectations.

However, new packages are now being introduced to accommodate different days, draws and needs of fans.

Weekend passes, called 'The Champ' will go on sale tomorrow and the cost is $175 for silver seating and $150 for bronze seating.

The champ packages have two categories.

The Evening Champ includes night games on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, plus the whole playoff package on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Easter holiday weekend).

Lockyer said this package will appeal to fans who are working during the day and can only go to evening games and closing weekend.

The Weekend Champ includes the final three round-robin draws on Thursday, plus the whole playoff package on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Locker says this should appeal to out-of-town fans who are working and cannot attend the whole week but who want to see the championship weekend.

The committee also announced a Christmas 'Rocks In Your Socks' ticket package promotion that will be available from Nov. 14 until Dec. 24.

There are also two versions of this package.

The Weekend Rocks includes a pair of tickets to all five draws on opening weekend for $99.

A Weekday Rocks includes a pair of tickets to the morning and afternoon draw of the fan's choice of Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday for $49.

Lockyer also said while full-event gold packages in the end zone will no longer be available after today, the silver and bronze total event packages will be available until further notice.

At the end of the news conference, the audience was shown two promotional TV ads. One was entitled Moncton Rcks Your World and the other carried the theme, Moncton: This is Where The World will Rock.

"We're only five months away and this is going to be some kind of a celebration," Lockyer said.

NOTES: Terry Taylor, president of Taylor Ford in Moncton, and Mabel Deware, an honorary co-chair, were special guests in attendance at the news conference. Ford began its sponsorship of the men's and women's world curling championships in 1995.

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