Tickets selling well for lacrosse game By GORDIE SUTHERLAND -- Halifax Herald If advanced ticket sales are any indication, there could be a market for professional lacrosse in Halifax. About 4,500 tickets have already been sold for Friday's exhibition between the National Lacrosse League's Montreal Express and Toronto Rock and another 1,000 are expected to be scooped up before game time. "I can honestly say there has been a buzz the last two to three weeks on the game," said Scott Ferguson, the general manager of Halifax Metro Centre. "I think there's a really high awareness level." Brad Watters, president of the Rock, isn't surprised with the early response. He said the pro game has been well received in other parts of the country and expects Halifax to embrace it in similar fashion. "If we can get over 6,000 there that will be just enough to get the crowd electric and it will be something we do annually," Watters said. "We'll keep coming back." A high-tempo, physical game played to loud music, lacrosse also features plenty of offence. There should be goals galore. More than anything, Watters said new fans will likely be surprised with how rough the action gets. "The first crack of the plastic (glass) . . . it's always amazing to see a new fan hear that crack and go, 'That's not a penalty?' "You'll go , 'No, that's not a penalty. You'll get used to that.' "If you're a sports fan, you'll love it. There's good violence, good speed, a lot of fun in the crowd. It's a fun night out." Captain Tracey Kelusky, the first pick in last year's draft, and Brad MacArthur are two of the notable players for Montreal. Goalie Bob Watson, Colin Doyle, Kim Squire and captain Jim Veltman, one of the best all-time lacrosse players, are among the players to watch with Toronto. The pro game arrives at a time when the popularity of lacrosse is taking off in Halifax and surrounding areas. Ferguson said the grassroots interest in the sport has helped sell the exhibition. "We have done our traditional advertising," he said. "You see it on TV. You see it in the newspaper. But we have had a lot of people that have been out at games - hockey games, football games - handing out (information). "It has been a grassroots program. We're pretty excited about the response that we've got." And if Friday's showcase is as successful as anticipated, more pro lacrosse will find its way to Halifax. "We'll start working right away on getting bigger and better next year," Ferguson said. "And who knows as far as a franchise."