It will be a packed house Saturday night at the Moose Jaw Events Centre as the Saskatchewan Rush take on the Calgary Roughnecks in National Lacrosse League (NLL) pre-season action.
As of Wednesday morning, there were only a handful of tickets remaining out of the 4.400 that were available for sale.
This will be the first time that the NLL has brought a game to southern Saskatchewan.
Rob Clark, CEO of the Moose Jaw and District Chamber of Commerce, says the event will be a big boost for the city.
"There's going to be 4,000 there. The majority might even be coming from out of town. You got hotels, you got restaurants, you got food. Our unique downtown is going to feel the impact. Hotels and restaurants throughout the city are going to really feel the impact plus small businesses. We have so many unique things downtown that these guys are going to be searching out."
It will be a busy weekend in the downtown area with the WHL's Moose Jaw Warriors taking on the Swift Current Broncos on Friday night.
Moose Jaw Events Centre Assistant General Manager Corey Nyhagen says the community is really excited about seeing professional lacrosse come to Moose Jaw.
"They're bringing the entire Rush show," he commented. "From the music to the pyro to the dance team and the music playing throughout. It's quite a spectacle and I think fans are going to be in for a real treat."
Fans will be making the trip to Moose Jaw from across Saskatchewan.
"The Rush had their season ticket holder pre-sale go on ahead of time and it sold a little over 600 tickets out of the gate before it went on to the general public and those season tickets are from everywhere. We do have some that have called in from Saskatoon. We've had ones that have called in requesting if there are suites available or club seating and have been buying in the bowl. Regina fans have also been calling in. It's going to be a very good mixed bag of a crowd on Saturday."
Nyhagen says with a near sell-out crowd expected, patience among spectators is going to be key.
He encourages ticket holders to arrive early.
"We've got the additional concessions up. We've also got the additional crack-n-go beer stations up to speed up the process of getting those beverages as well. Full staff on hand. It's going to be a great evening for the building that way. Our staff is fully committed to working as hard as they can to make sure that the lines are moving as quickly as they can."
Doors at the Events Centre will open at 5:30 p.m. with game time at 7 p.m.
"It will give fans the opportunity to come, to have a bite to eat. We'll be doing our Friday Night Tailgating Special as well that we usually have at the Warriors games. Get here early, get a bite to eat, and get in their seats before the show begins."
The Rush's transition team will get to work immediately following the hockey game on Friday to put down the flooring over top of the ice surface. The turf will then be brought in and laid down, as it will need time to sit and be stretched into place ahead of the lacrosse game on Saturday.
With the great response from Moose Jaw, Nyhagen is hoping to make the Rush's visit an annual event.
"We'll be looking at doing this for years to come we hope. We said it right from day one. If we can bring an annual exhibition game with the Rush down here, it would be fantastic and it helps to grow their brand as well too because not everybody can always get up to Saskatoon to see it. To still be part of it down here in southern Saskatchewan is great."
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