Tuesday, January 29, 2002
Steamboat Springs While it might have taken just four days for tickets to sell out for the USA Women's Hockey Team scrimmage against the Steamboat Midgets, there are plenty of tickets left for the community to have dinner with the players before they travel to Salt Lake.
Tim Greene, who orchestrated the women's three-day stay in Steamboat, is hoping sales will increase in the next few days for the $75-a-plate dinner that will be used to support the cost of bringing the women's team to Steamboat.
With Thursday looming as the final day to purchase tickets, only about 60 of the 130 tickets have been bought for the Saturday night dinner at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel.
With the estimated $15,000 hosting cost, which includes lodging, meals, ice time and advertising, Greene was counting on the dinner, which would take in $10,000 in seats alone, as the main fund-raising event. But Greene is also hoping the dinner will more than break even as any money brought in over the cost of hosting the team will go to support the Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey Association.
"The dinner and auction need to be a success," Greene said. "The goal is not to break even, the goal is the meaning it will send: a message to the world about Steamboat's enthusiasm for hockey."
The hockey association has relied on its Ski Town USA Hockey Tournament as its main fund-raiser, but Greene said the dinner has the potential of the Winter Sports Club's Ski Ball. Held in November, the Ski Ball, which raises money to support its programs through a dinner and silent and live auction, is $125 a plate.
"What better chance for Steamboat hockey than to be able to have dinner with the gold medal winners and the undefeated team before heading into the Olympic Games," Greene said.
It is also a chance to get Steamboat's name on the hockey map, Green said.
"We need it to be successful in my mind in promoting this community as a valuable venue for the upper echelon of hockey teams to use for training," he said.
Unlike the dinner tickets, the ice rink had no problems selling the $5 tickets to the scrimmage that matches the women's team against Steamboat's high school-age boys team. With 720 tickets sold, proceeds from the game should reach more than $3,000.
"We underestimated the demand (for game tickets)," Greene said. "We were trying to put on an event that everybody in the community could enjoy. We would have made more money if we sold the tickets for more. But we wanted to do something for the community and were relying on fund-raising from the dinner and silent auction."
The dinner will also have a silent auction with autographed memorabilia by the women's team, a season ski pass and Olympic men's and women's hockey tickets for sale.
With 28 players plus coaches and staff, Greene said each table at the dinner will have at least one Olympian. An autograph session will also be held.
Tickets can be purchased at Howelsen Ice Arena and the dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and runs until 10 p.m.