ROCK THE BID co-chairs Charlie Kohoe and Kim Kirkham smile as Penticton won the bid to host the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Tickets are available to be purchased starting Friday.                                Emanuel Sequeira/Western News

ROCK THE BID co-chairs Charlie Kohoe and Kim Kirkham smile as Penticton won the bid to host the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Tickets are available to be purchased starting Friday. Emanuel Sequeira/Western News

Tickets for 2018 Scotties in Penticton on sale

The country’s best women’s curling teams will be chasing a Canadian championship in Penticton.

Canada’s best women’s curling teams will be chasing a Canadian championship under a new format at the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Penticton.

The championship is scheduled for Jan. 27 to Feb. 4 at the South Okanagan Events Centre, and will feature, for the first time, a 16-team field. Fans will get their first chance on Friday at 10 a.m. to buy tickets to the country’s best-known and most well-attended women’s curling event.

Here are the highlights of the new ticket offers:

Full Event Package ($399): Same great seat for all 23 draws, including medal-round games, plus any necessary tiebreakers.

Club Seat – Full Event ($429): A limited number of club seats are available in sections 118-120. Club seats offer a larger, padded seat compared to standard seats.

All ticket packages are subject to standard facility and ticket service fees.

Packages will be available at the SOEC box office, online at curling.ca/tickets or 1-877-763-2849.

Penticton’s bid included a successful deposit program, as fans were urged to show their support by putting money down for full-event passes, so many prime seats have already been snapped up. Ticket-buyers will need to act quickly on Friday to make sure they can purchase the best seats to catch all of the games. The action off the ice will be just as hot, as the rollicking party known as the HeartStop Lounge will be right next door at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

Along with the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the athletes, the HeartStop Lounge will offer live music, dancing, drinks and food, as well as interactive activities for the entire family.

All 14 member associations (10 provinces, three territories and Northern Ontario) will be represented in the main field as the pre-qualifying process will end at the 2017 Scotties in St. Catharines.

Additionally, the defending champion Team Canada will be in the field, while the process to determine the 16th entry will be decided at a later date. The 16 teams will be split into two pools for the first phase of round-robin play, with the top four teams from each pool then advancing to a crossover championship pool. From there, four teams will go into the familiar Page playoff round.

The winning team at the 2018 Scotties will represent Canada at the 2018 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship in North Bay, Ont.

The event website has now been launched. Keep checking www.curling.ca/2018scotties for all event updates, including volunteer signup (dates to be announced), new ticket offers, team announcements and the event schedule when it is set.

Those wishing to volunteer can register at www.curling.ca/volunteer/ to stay up to date on volunteer opportunities.