The event itself is still 13 months away, but organizers of the December, 2013 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings at the MTS Centre will begin putting tickets on sale next week.
Organizers will announce today that full passes -- which include all 18 draws for the event that will decide Canada's men's and women's curling representatives for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi -- will go on sale to the public beginning Monday at 10 a.m.
The full event package is priced at $429 and will include an early bird bonus of two free tickets to one of the first two draws on opening weekend to anyone who buys the package before Dec. 24.
All full event packages will also include invitation to a Fan Appreciation Night immediately prior to the start of the event at which the curlers will be available and complimentary admission all week to the customary social hall that accompanies major curling events, long known at the Brier as The Patch. The Patch will be located at the Convention Centre.
A second phase of ticket sales will kick in on Dec. 6 when individual tickets to the first two draws will go on sale. Those tickets will be priced at $39 a pair and are being marketed by organizers as stocking stuffers under the moniker, 'Rocks in Your Socks.'
A third phase of ticket sales will occur in February when organizers will begin selling 'Flex Packs' to the general public.
Those packages will allow fans to pick the draws they want to see at the times they want to see them and will be priced at $469. More details will be announced later.
A total of 16 teams -- eight men's and eight women's teams -- will compete at the MTS Centre Dec. 1-8, 2013 in an event that was formerly called the Canadian Curling Trials.
No Manitoba-based team has ever represented Canada in curling at the Winter Olympics. Jeff Stoughton lost the 2005 Trials final to Newfoundland's Brad Gushue and Kerry Burtnyk lost the 2001 Trials final to Alberta's Kevin Martin. The Trials were previously held in Manitoba in 1997 when Brandon hosted. Ontario's Mike Harris and Saskatchewan's Sandra Schmirler won that event.
Winnipeg's Chelsea Carey said competing for a chance to go the 2014 Olympics before a hometown crowd would be nothing less than a dream come true. "The Trials in general is your goal as a curler," Carey said Wednesday. "And especially for women's teams because we don't usually get to play in those big hockey arenas.
"But then to have it in your own hometown on top of it -- it would be everyone's dream. And it's probably not something we would get a chance to do again."
Four teams have already secured berths into the 2013 Trials. Winnipeg's Jennifer Jones and Martin both won their berths by capturing the 2011 men's and women's Canada Cup, while 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts winner Heather Nedohin of Edmonton and 2012 Brier winner Glenn Howard of Coldwater, Ont., also picked up berths with their overall performances last winter.
Two more berths will be available at the 2012 Canada Cup, which runs in Moose Jaw, Nov. 28-Dec. 2. Winnipeg's Stoughton, Mike McEwen, Cathy Overton-Clapham and Carey will all be competing in that event, as will Jones.
Three more men's and three more women's berths will be decided at the end of the 2012-13 curling season based on the points-based Canadian Team Ranking System. And then the final two men's and two women's berths will be determined next November in Kitchener in a last-chance event that will see 12 women's teams and 12 men's teams compete.
CURLING JACKPOT: Some curlers could become millionaires this winter.
Sportsnet, the new owner and operator of the Grand Slam of Curling, announced Wednesday that a $1-million bonus will be awarded if any men's team wins all four events this winter -- the Masters, Canadian Open, National and Player's Championship.
And if a women's team wins the two events on their Grand Slam circuit -- the Masters and the Players Championship -- that team will earn $100,000.
In addition, if a men's team fails to win all four events, the top three men's teams will split a $100,000 bonus. If a women's team fails to win both events, the top three teams will split a $25,000 bonus.
The $200,000 Masters kicked off the Grand Slam schedule Wednesday with 64 men's and women's teams competing in Brantford, Ont., beginning today.
Hurry hard to ticket wicket, curling fans
What: Tickets going on sale for 2013 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings
When: Full event packages go on sale on Monday at a cost of $429; individual tickets to the first two draws go on sale Dec. 6 at a cost of $39 a pair; Flex Packs priced at $469 will go on sale next February.
How can I get them: Online at curling.ca/tickets or by phone at 1-877-985-2875.
Who's competing: Jennifer Jones, Heather Nedohin, Kevin Martin and Glenn Howard already have their berths secured. Twelve more teams -- six men's and six women's -- must still be determined.
What's at stake: The men's and women's winners will go on to represent Canada in curling at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Quotable: "It's our goal. It's every team's goal to play at the Trials. We'll be disappointed if we don't get there. But it's just such a hard event to get to play in." -- skip Chelsea Carey