Labatt Blue Buffalo Pond Hockey Tournament Slated for Feb. 21-22 at New Location
Friday, December 20, 2013
BUFFALO, NY – Labatt Blue beer today announced details for the seventh annual Labatt Blue Buffalo Pond Hockey Tournament, which will shift to a new location for the first time since the tournament’s inception. The 2014 Tournament will move to 333 Ganson Street, where 120 teams will descend on refrigerated ice rinks for two full days of pond hockey play, Feb. 21-22, 2014. More than 800 pond hockey players will compete across 10 divisions with seven player rosters.
For the first time ever, Labatt is offering all teams who registered for the 2013 tournament the “right of first refusal” to secure a spot in the 2014 games since only a small percentage of last year’s tournament was completed.
“More than any other year, the weather challenges in 2013 prevented the majority of registered teams from ever getting out on the ice,” said Lisa Texido, brand manager, Labatt. “Therefore, we’re offering each of those 96 teams a slot in the 2014 tournament. We hope the players who couldn’t skate last year will return and have a great Labatt Blue Buffalo Pond Hockey experience this February.”
Registration & Payment Process:
The 96 registered teams from 2013 interested in competing in the 2014 tournament must reserve their spot by registering online at www.labattbluepondhockey.com, between Dec. 20 at noon and December 28 at noon. Team captains must submit their full team rosters and $250 registration fee at that time.
All remaining tournament slots will open to the public for registration on December 28, 2013 at noon through January 4, 2014 at noon. Full team rosters, including proof of age for all players, must be submitted upon registration. Teams will then be divided into their respective divisions and selected via random lottery draw. Players can find out if their team has been selected by checking the tournament website on Tuesday, January 7, 2014. Once teams have been selected, a $250 registration fee will be due by Jan. 15. For questions, team captains should contact tournament director Ed Ellis at Ed@labattbluepondhockey.com.
About the New Location on Ganson Street:
The new site, located at 333 Ganson Street in Buffalo, is situated on the historic site of the former GLF grain facility. Construction has already begun on two refrigerated ice pads which will house the rinks. Rink One will measure 85x185 sq. ft., with Rink Two measuring 85x170 sq. feet. Each rink can accommodate three pond hockey-sized rectangular ice rinks. Because the rinks are refrigerated, hockey play is a safe bet for temperatures approximately 50 degrees F and below. A patio and concession area for spectators also are expected to be completed by the start of the Labatt Blue Buffalo Pond Hockey Tournament in February 2014. The site also boasts ample parking for players and fans.
Spectators and fans also can expect great views of the hockey action, a deejay, music, plenty of food and Labatt Blue. Over the past several months, Labatt focused its efforts on identifying a near weather-proof option to host the tournament games outdoors in downtown Buffalo. Shifting from a weather-dependent Erie Basin Marina to an outdoor refrigerated ice rink environment at the Ganson Street location on the Buffalo River was key.
“One of our biggest goals during the off-season was to find a way to keep Labatt pond hockey going in our hometown with a solution for the weather challenges we’ve had,” said Texido. “This new location on Ganson Street will provide hundreds of players a hockey experience outside, in the middle of winter. We can’t wait to see the players skating this February.”
Tournament Set Up and Team Format
Tournament director Ed Ellis will oversee team registration, referee recruitment, game scheduling and other tournament details.
- Players will skate on six refrigerated ice rinks.
- Teams will be comprised of four to seven players, 21 years of age and older, who play a four-on-four format, absent a goalie.
- Each team is guaranteed three games, with two, 13 minute halves.
- Nets are six inches high and six feet wide like the goals used in the Labatt Blue US Adult Pond Hockey Championships held each year in Eagle River, Wisconsin.
- Teams will compete in a round robin format in a specified division.
- The winner of each bracket will go on to play a championship game.
In the event that severe inclement weather prevents safe hockey play, a makeup day is slated for Sunday, Feb. 23. Team registration fees will not be refunded for any shortened or cancelled games.
For more information, visit www.labattbluepondhockey.com. Join the conversation about Labatt Blue and the Labatt Blue Buffalo Pond Hockey Tournament at www.facebook.com/LabattBlueUSA. Fans receive updates and information on game schedules, weather conditions and more.
About Labatt USA
Headquartered in Buffalo, NY, Labatt USA imports Labatt Blue and Labatt Blue Light daily from Canada. Labatt Blue is America’s top-selling Canadian beer. First brewed in 1951, Labatt Blue offers a clean, refreshing taste, light color, slight hop aroma, good balance, fruity character and a slightly sweet taste. Labatt Blue Light, a Canadian pilsner, is the No. 2 Canadian import behind Labatt Blue.
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