With Bear Mountain Arena set to become their home away from home, the Victoria Royals will look ahead to the change.
The Western Hockey League club played its final regular-season home game Friday night against the Everett Silvertips at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre. (Story in Sports, page B9)
Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre will become home to the 2013 Ford World Men’s Curling Championship, which begins March 29. And time is required to prepare the Victoria facility for curling.
The Royals will make the switch to the West Shore for post-season play, starting March 26 and March 28 for Games 3 and 4 against the Kamloops Blazers.
Games 1 and 2 are in Kamloops.
If a Game 6 of the best-of-seven series is required, it would go April 1 at The Bear.
That means less room for fans, going from the 7,000-seat Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre to Bear Mountain Arena, which harbours roughly 3,000.
“It will accommodate all of our season-ticket holders. There will be some tickets for sale. It’s too bad we can’t play [at Save-on], because it would be nice to get 7,000 people,” said Royals general manager Cam Hope.
“Some folks won’t be able to get tickets; that’s the unfortunate part.”
Whether season-seat holders accept their right of first refusal is the question, but tickets are already available, so casual fans can act early.
“The world curling championships are a great event and so when that comes along, you have to have the venue available for that,” Hope said.
“That’s OK. I don’t think that will have a negative effect on the team.
“The only negative effect, for me, are the fans who want to come to the playoffs for the first round.”
To date, there have been no complaints regarding seating to the Royals.
“Maybe we will be able to accommodate everyone who really wants tickets,” Hope said.
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