Introducing the New Labatt Blue Buffalo Pond Hockey Tournament (In its 8th Year)
Sled hockey fan experience, live art creation and upgraded location expected to draw crowds
BUFFALO, NY – Though the Labatt Blue Buffalo Pond Hockey Tournament is entering its eighth year, players and fans can expect plenty of new things to see and do come tournament weekend, Feb. 20-22, 2015 at the new Buffalo RiverWorks entertainment complex. Nearly 1,000 players on 144 teams across 12 divisions will take to the ice over the course of the three day tournament. Game play begins at noon on Friday until approximately 8:30 p.m., continuing on Saturday, from 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m., and wrapping up on Sunday from 9 a.m. until about 8 p.m. Players will skate on six refrigerated ice rinks in one of the region’s most in-demand annual hockey tournaments. The event is free and open to the public.
NEW to the Tournament:
Though this is the tournament’s second year at Buffalo RiverWorks, the venue will look incredibly different from its gritty, raw atmosphere last year. Players and fans will notice a roof covering the ice; outdoor patios; a heated indoor space, dubbed the “Labatt Fan Fest” area; brand new player locker rooms; and much more. One of the most noticeable changes includes the Labatt Blue silos which were installed back in the fall of 2014 and are rumored to be the world’s largest six pack. Other new tournament additions include:· A Sled Hockey shooting experience for fans, Friday- Sunday, with opportunities to meet and talk with dynamic sled hockey athletes, including 2014 Paralympic Sled Hockey Gold Medalist Adam Page;
· Watching renowned artist Dave Arrigo paint two huge pond hockey-themed murals on-site, which will then be permanently installed at Buffalo RiverWorks;
· Featured Game: Buffalo Police vs. Buffalo Fire exhibition game, Saturday at 8:40 p.m.;
· Samplings of new Labatt Power Play lager;
· Buffalo Sabres Alumni Ric Seiling and Craig Muni Saturday from 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
· A “snowy” Labatt Blue Pond Hockey photo experience;
· Live music from Strictly Hip Saturday from 7 p.m.-10 p.m.;
“This year, we really wanted to create a fun, party-like atmosphere for our players, spectators and fans and give them an experience they haven’t seen before at Labatt Blue Buffalo Pond Hockey,” said Lisa Texido, brand manager, Labatt Blue. “We know people are looking to get out and have a good time, so we’re looking forward to some great crowds throughout the weekend.”
Getting to Buffalo RiverWorks
The new Buffalo RiverWorks entertainment complex, located at 359 Ganson Street in Buffalo is just a few blocks from First Niagara Center (FNC). From South Park Ave., players and fans can simply pass FNC, take a right onto Michigan Avenue crossing over the Michigan Avenue Bridge, and take a left onto Ganson Street. One of the biggest destination markers features the huge Labatt Blue silos which were installed back in the fall. Find parking information here.
“Another new thing for people to check out this year is the incredible 10-story, 100 foot high Labatt Blue six-pack right at Buffalo RiverWorks,” Texido said. “The silos are larger than life and just an incredible sight to see. You can’t miss them.”
Teams this year include hundreds of local and regional hockey players, with others travelling from as far away as Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Ohio and Pennsylvania to compete. Nearly 1,000 novice, intermediate, advanced and elite level hockey players make up each competing team, with rosters ranging from four to seven players, 21 years of age and older. Teams play a four-on-four format, absent a goalie.
Teams will play a minimum of three round robin games, on two out of three days over the course of the weekend. 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. The winner of each bracket will go on to play a championship game. The 12 divisional winners will be named tournament champions in their respective divisions.
Players and fans can download a new, free Labatt Blue Pond Hockey app on iTunes or Google Play for real-time scores, game schedules, standings and results. 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/LabattBlueUS or get the Labatt Bear’s take on the games at www.twitter.com/labattusa.
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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