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UPDATE: 2009 NCAA Tournament ticket application now available

UPDATED ON 4/15:

The ticket application for the 2009 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament first and second round games at the Rose Garden is now online. The deadline to apply is May 15.

Tickets will be assigned according to the order that applications are received. If the demand for tickets exceeds supply, a random drawing will be held to select ticket recipients. The NCAA will notify applicants of their ticket status by June.

Click here to apply for tickets!

UPDATED on 3/25 — Statement from NCAA spokeswoman Gail Dent:

“The site is experiencing some difficulties now, but we’re currently working through the issues. Please continue to have people go to the site. The window for applications is open until May 1 so people still have time to submit their order. The site is run via ncaa.com in partnership with Ticketmaster.”

Event:
2009 NCAA® Division I Men’s Basketball Championship – First and Second Rounds

When:
Thu, March 19 & Sat, March 21, 2009
Times TBD

Where:
Rose Quarter – Rose Garden
Portland, Oregon

Tickets:
Three-session packages are priced at $165.00 plus applicable service fees and include a ticket for two sessions on Thursday and one session on Saturday, for a total of three tickets for six games. Tickets go on sale on Monday, March 24, 2008 and can be purchased through NCAA.com. For more information please visit NCAA.com or RoseQuarter.com.

What:
The Rose Garden was selected to host the 2009 NCAA® Division I Men’s Basketball Championship first and second round games by the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee. Twenty-four cities will serve as hosts for the first and second round and regional games in 2009 and 2010. Games will be played at the Rose Garden on Thursday, March 19 and Saturday, March 21, 2009 with the University of Oregon being the host school.

“We are thrilled to be the host venue for the 2009 Men’s first and second round games,” stated Mike Scanlon, General Manager of the Global Spectrum-managed Rose Quarter. “It took a lot of hard work by a number of individuals in order to bring this tournament back to Oregon, including the University of Oregon, Oregon Sports Authority, the City of Portland, Portland Arena Management and Travel Portland.”

This is the first time the Rose Garden will host an NCAA Tournament. The last NCAA tournament games played in Oregon were 25 years ago in Corvallis, which were also the first and second round games. However, it will have been 34 years since Portland last hosted an NCAA Tournament (1975 NCAA Regionals).

“Obviously this was something already in place before my arrival here but as an Oregon native as well as my role at the University of Oregon, this is something that will reap tremendous dividends for the entire state,” said the Ducks’ Director of Athletics Pat Kilkenny. “The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament has evolved into one of the greatest sporting events in the country and for fans throughout the state and the Pacific Northwest to be able to experience this first hand is truly amazing. It is our hope that this becomes an event in the state we can assist with on a regular basis.”

Because of Oregon’s previous authorization of state-sanctioned sports lottery games, it has been 25 years since Oregon last hosted the NCAA Tournament. In 2005, the Oregon Sports Authority introduced a legislative bill to eliminate the state’s sports lottery games while also increasing funding for college athletics. The non-profit organization secured passage of the bill in the Oregon Legislature and then partnered with the University of Oregon, the Rose Quarter and Travel Portland to assemble and submit the successful bid to the NCAA.

“It’s truly a thrill to know that we are just one year way from the long-awaited return of March Madness® to Oregon,” said Drew Mahalic, CEO of the Oregon Sports Authority. “The anticipated arrival of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, along with its substantial economic impact, represents one of the Oregon Sports Authority’s most meaningful accomplishments on behalf of this state.”

As selected by the committee in 2003, Detroit is the host of the 2009 Final Four® and Indianapolis is the site of the 2010 Final Four.

Official NCAA-sanctioned ticket and hospitality packages are also available by visiting www.ncaa.com/hospitality or calling 800/591-9198. Hospitality packages include pregame and in-game hospitality.

The NCAA reminds fans that purchasing tickets from secondary, unauthorized vendors may result in fraudulent purchases. Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets from NCAA member institutions or companies authorized by the NCAA to sell or resell championship tickets.

Oregon selected to host 2008 IRB North America 4 Tournament

The International Rugby Board has announced the playing schedule for the 2008 IRB North America 4. The popular cross-border competition, that involves two elite representative teams from both Canada and the USA, will kick off in Toronto on May 17. On July 10, the USA Hawks will take on the USA Falcons in the round one match at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham. The match is scheduled to kick off at 6:30PM.

“The IRB North America 4 is now firmly established as the premier player and coach development tool in North America. Since its inauguration in 2006, the Tournament has proven to be an important testing ground for future stars of the international Game, bridging the gap between club level and the Test arena,” said IRB Head of Rugby Services Mark Egan.

“North America is a major growth market for Rugby, as highlighted by enhanced Rugby World Cup 2007 broadcast interest for the region. The Game is flourishing in both countries and the North America 4 has played a key role in heightening the profile of Rugby, while serving the purpose of identifying a pool of talent capable of performing at Test level,” added Egan.

Over 80 percent of the players representing Canada and the USA at Rugby World Cup 2007 had participated in the NA4 Tournament and USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer Nigel Melville believes that the IRB North America 4 serves as an invaluable preparation tool for the Test arena.

“The IRB North America 4 continues to be an important part of our player development pathway. We see players play at club level, we see players train, but we need to see players compete against really tough opposition in order to select them for international games. The NA4 is a tough test for all our players, it gives them valuable experience and makes them better international prospects,” he said.

The Oregon Sports Authority and Rugby Oregon helped bring the match to Mt. Hood Community College. The event will serve as a fundraiser for Rugby Oregon, a non-profit youth sports organization, dedicated to the growth and development of youth rugby in Oregon. Tickets for the event are $10. For more information, please visit RugbyOregon.com or narugby.com.

The Tournament kicks off with two-time defending champions Canada West taking on Canada East in Toronto on May 17, before the Barclays Churchill Cup gets under way. The Tournament resumes in July with the Hawks/Falcons match at Mount Hood Community College. Two more pool rounds will follow in Canada, before the IRB North America 4 semifinal and final rounds are played at Glendale Infinity Park, near Denver, Colo., on July 29 and August 2, respectively.

Goalie Wars to start in Portland

Watch out for flying soccer balls when the Goalie Wars start at East Delta Park. It won’t be real combat, just the nation’s fastest growing extreme sport.

The National Goalie War Association (NGWA) will be presenting the Northwest Regional Goalie War Challenge on Saturday, June 28, 2008.

Goalie War is an intense battle of shots and saves, the most exciting part of the world’s most popular sport… soccer. In this new extreme sport, two players face off on a 24 X 22 yard playing field. The object of the game is to score more goals than your opponent during a five-minute match. Winners move to the next round. Play continues until only one goalkeeper remains.

The Northwest Regional Goalie War Challenge is one of sixteen NGWA regional events that make up the 2008 NGWA Championship Tour. The tournament is open to amateur youth, college and adult players. It features the sport of Goalie Wars and includes fun skills competitions and interactive events plus music, food and prizes, making the tournament an activity for the whole family.

Participation fees are $40.00 for NGWA members and $60.00 for non-members. All Goalie War Champions and finalists in each age/gender division will qualify to participate in the National Goalie War Championships in December 2008.

Plus, the NGWA will be donating up to $25,000 to the school, club, team, camp or company that sponsors the winning player(s) at the 2008 National Goalie War Championships.

Registration information is available at the National Goalie War Association website at www.goaliewar.com.

Blazers turn up the charm

Blazer zealots clamored for autographs after the team beat the L.A. Lakers in 2005. Such enthusiasm seems even more widespread now.

When the Trail Blazers defeated the Golden State Warriors in a game back in early January, the streamers that fell from the rafters at the Rose Garden might as well have been stardust.

The National Basketball Association’s youngest team, which was supposed to be in a rebuilding year, had rung up its 17th win in 18 games, moving into first place in the highly competitive Northwest Division.

— Excerpt from the Portland Tribune, March 11, 2008

2008 Gorge Games to be held in Hood River July 17-20

Gorge Games, LLC announced today the return of one of the most incredible events in the scenic Pacific Northwest. The 2008 Gorge Games will take place from July 17-20 with competition held in the host City of Hood River and in surrounding areas in the Columbia River Gorge.

“I am honored and thrilled to be part of the excitement that is the Gorge Games,” said Alan Peters, Co-Founder of 2008 Gorge Games. “This is a truly unique Pacific Northwest event that showcases all the beauty and splendor this area has to offer. It will be a great weekend for fans and athletes, especially the folks that live in Portland, Southwest Washington and for the entire Columbia River Gorge community.”

The 2008 Gorge Games will consist of nine action sports and nearly 30 separate events – Adventure Race, Half Marathon/10K Trail Run, Kayaking, Kiteboarding, Mountain Bike Freeride, Mountain Bike Short Track, Riverboarding, Sailing, Skateboard and Windsurfing. Each of the sports will be led by Sports Directors – each of whom are among the top professionals in their Action Sport and have organized and managed sporting events as well.

“Throughout the process of meeting with past sponsors, community leaders and athletes, we have decided to focus on three kinds of Gorge Game participants: professional athletes, people that fit a weekend-warrior profile and average folks and their families that want to experience the beauty of the Columbia Gorge and see Action Sports for the first time,” said Joshua Ryan, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of 2008 Gorge Games.

It’s the public’s chance to see one of the most incredible action packed sporting events in the Pacific Northwest. The wild rivers, pristine forests and the challenges of the Columbia River Gorge itself make for the most extreme environment possible for action sport athletes, and amazing experience for fans.

It’s an authentic and unique Pacific Northwest experience.

Teaching children about Action Sports and encouraging young people to engage in healthy lifestyles is one of the core missions of the Gorge Games.

“To accomplish our goals for our youth, we have scheduled a week of Action Sports training camps to permit children and teens to participate in safe Action Sports and get passionate about their sport of choice,” said Ryan.

We are excited to be able to offer clinics throughout the Gorge Games including hands-on, real-life experience with some of the greatest professionals on earth.

Another highlight of the 2008 Gorge Games is Adventure Village in the Port of Hood River which will be the hub of activity all weekend long. It will feature live open air concerts, including some of the region’s premier musical acts and bands, interactive competitions and numerous social events. In addition, guests and patrons will be able to enjoy what the city of Hood River has to offer with planned activities downtown each night.

The official website of the Gorge Games, www.gorgegames.net debuts on March 6 with links to each of the action sports. Registration for both athletes and volunteers will be available on the site beginning March 21.

New Gorge Games adds events and ‘green’ tone

Updated and “green,” Gorge Games are coming back after a four-year hiatus.

Director Josh Ryan and operations supervisor Sally Leach of Portland told the Heights Business Association (HBA) Thursday that 3,000 to 5,000 people are expected for the revitalized games in Hood River July 17-20, “but we’re prepared for more.”

Ryan said a deal to nationally televise Gorge Games is being hammered out by former Trailblazers’ executive Steve Patterson.

— Excerpt from the Hood River News, February 25, 2008