OLDS — The ice-makers were interested spectators Monday night as women’s and men’s teams from the Olds Curling Club tested the freshly-made playing surfaces at the Sportsplex.
“The Monday night men’s curlers and Tuesday ladies curlers will be testing it out and the ice-making crew will be observing,” said Dennis Remillard, an organizer of the Boston Pizza Cup — the provincial men’s curling championship — to be staged Wednesday to Sunday at the Sportsplex.
Remillard said “several hundred” tickets have already been purchased for the 12-team event.
“Plus we have the (sponsors) booths and the box seats which hold 280 people when filled. That’s a healthy number right there,” said Remillard.
The Sportsplex is being decorated in a western motif and will feature a beer garden in the concession area and another in the lounge of the Curling Club, located in the northeast corner of the building.
The provincial championship opens with four games at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Red Deer’s Rob Armitage and his supporting cast of third Shaun Meachem, second Trevor Sparks and lead Doug Stambaugh will take on Brent Bawel of Calgary in one contest, while Kurt Balderston will face Kelsey Dusseault in a battle of two Sexsmith rinks, Warren Hassall of Lloydminster will meet Bent Wilkinson of Whitecourt and Wade White of Edmonton will take on Adrian Bakker of Calgary.
The winner of the Armitage/Bawel match will go against co-favourite Randy Ferbey of Edmonton at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Rinks skipped by James Pahl of Sherwood Park and Ted Appelman and co-favourite Kevin Koe of Edmonton, were granted the other first-round byes.
The Boston Pizza Cup will resume at 9 a.m. Thursday, with the first playoff qualifier to be decided in a 6:30 p.m. draw.
The championship final is scheduled for Sunday, with the time to be announced.