Tickets for the 2013 Allan Cup are now on-sale.
The Bentley Generals plan on giving their faithful 'army' plenty to cheer about, on and off the ice.
The 2009 Allan Cup Champs and three time runners-up will host the 105th edition of the Senior AAA national hockey championship at the Red Deer Arena from April 15th - 20th, 2013.
1,500 full tournament ticket packages are available. You can also sign up to help out as a volunteer.
Complete details are available on the tournament's official website - allancup2013.ca
If organizers have their way, the 2013 Allan Cup tournament will be the best one ever.
"I think anyone who has been to any of the McKenzie Cups here in the past couple of years realizes that this place [Red Deer Arena] sells out and that there's a unique, special atmosphere here whenever there is senior hockey that is played," Host Committee Chair Dave Mousseau said at a media conference held this morning. "I think the fact that this is going to be a national championship with that calibre of hockey is going to be incredible for Red Deer. It's going to be incredible for young hockey fans and for senior hockey fans in general."
Mousseau made mention of the McKenzie Cup (pacific region AB/BC) which the Generals have hosted at the Red Deer Arena in recent years, in 2009 and 2011 both versus the Fort St. John Flyers. To say that the atmosphere was electric would still be a tragic understatement. The rink was packed to the rafters with [over] capacity crowds, no doubt making city fire officials somewhat nervous. What will make the Allan Cup even more fun is the fact that the newly renovated Red Deer Curling Club facilities will also be incorporated into the festivities.
"We'll be able to use our side exit [in the arena] into their facility and have a closed-circuit tv feed over there [to show games]," explained Mousseau. "People can wander between the two buildings if there's not enough seats. That's going to allow us to have 1500-2000 more people."
The curling club will house the beer gardens for the week long event, featuring live entertainment in the evenings. There will also be a variety of family-oriented events so that people of all ages can join in the celebration.
Experience definitely comes into play in regards to planning such a large scale event. The fact that the Generals have competed at the last five Allan Cup tournaments (and six overall) gives them a pretty good idea as to what makes for a successful week.
"We've been to places where you think 'that's not gonna work' and it doesn't," said Generals GM Jeff McInnis. "Some towns have it right and you say 'we've gotta do something like that.' It's kind of like having a cheat sheet to follow."
The for the Generals, of course, will now be to put a championship calibre team out on the ice. More on that in my next blog...