Enthusiasm without tickets will leave fans standing out in cold

Going gaga over the Games

Posted: Friday, January 13, 2006

 

  Fans line up for the opening ceremony of the 2004 Arctic Winter Games in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Tickets to events in the 2006 games are on sale now and some will go fast, according to event organizers. Photo by M. Scott Moon

Fans line up for the opening ceremony of the 2004 Arctic Winter Games in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Tickets to events in the 2006 games are on sale now and some will go fast, according to event organizers.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

Do you have your Arctic Winter Games sport blanket? Check. AWG collector’s pin? AWG beanie cap? AWG long-sleeved hoody sweatshirt? Sports bottle? Rascal the Raven doll? Check, check, check, check and you betcha. Think you’re ready for the Games then?

Wait — don’t forget tickets.

The Games start with opening ceremonies at 6:45 p.m. March 5 and end with closing ceremonies at 7 p.m. March 11. Tickets for the opening ceremonies, sports and cultural events went on sale last week. While most events will have tickets available at the door, with only 1,950 tickets sold for the opening and closing ceremonies, organizers advise buying those tickets now. Opening ceremony tickets are $35 a person and closing ceremony tickets are $20.

“This is going to be a very hard ticket to get,” said Bill Popp, revenue development chairman for the Games.

With teams coming from Russia to Alaska and all regions in between, the Arctic Winter Games aren’t just arctic — they’re circumpolar. Teams compete from Alaska, Alberta, Greenland, Nunavut, Northwest Territory, Nunavik-Quebec, Russia, Saami Scandinavia and the Yukon, and represent not just nations, provinces, territories or states, but peoples within nations.

The traditional winter sports of skiing, hockey, dog mushing and snowshoeing are featured, but also other events like Inuit and Dene games, table tennis, curling, badminton and indoor soccer— 20 different kinds of events.

Events are held from Alyeska Ski Resort in Girdwood to Homer, with most events in the central peninsula. Athletes are bused to all events from resident villages in Kenai and Soldotna.

A full schedule of all events, with times, schedules and locations, is on the AWG 2006 Web site. Gensel said she thinks hockey, indoor soccer and curling will be popular events.

“I think people are curious (about curling),” she said. “That one might be kind of fun to watch.”

Tickets can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com or through a link from www.awg 2006.org, the main Web site for the 2006 Games. To order tickets by phone, call (907) 562-4800. Tickets also are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, such as the Fred Meyer store in Soldotna. Kids 5 and under get in free to all events except the opening and closing ceremonies.

For sport events, the best deal is the premium pass at $65. It offers entry to all Games, including medal rounds. The super pass at $40 offers entry to all preliminary rounds. A sports day pass is $10 for all preliminary events of that day, not including medal rounds. Single event passes, such as a curling match, are sold at the door for $5 for preliminary sessions and $10 for the medal rounds.

Venues will be cleared between preliminary and medal rounds. Seats at all events are on a first-come, first-served basis. Except for the ceremonies, seats should be available for all sport events, said Kathy Gensel, chairwoman of the Games.

Cultural presentations will be made by groups from participating regions. Cultural events are 7 p.m. March 6 and March 10 at Kenai Central High School, 7 p.m. March 7 at the Homer High School Mariner Theatre, 1 p.m. March 8 at Soldotna High School and 7 p.m. March 9 at Seward. A cultural pass for all events is $10. Cultural events tickets are available through Ticketmaster or at the door.

Information on accommodations, events, locations — and Rascal Raven’s store — is at www.awg2006.org. The Web site also includes the Ulu News, the official publication of the Games.



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