Press conference today at 12:00 in Winnipeg. TSN.ca and NHL.com specifically will be broadcasting it (not sure if any other sites will be haven't looked)
According to sources Bettman and True North will both be there to make the annoucment. The Winnipeg team will play in the Southeast Division for the 2011-2012 season then the league will go through a re-alignment for the 2012-2013 season.
I will try and update the thread once the annoucement has been made with any further details.
Still no word on whether the team will actually be called the Winnipeg Jets. or something else (Mantioba Moose is being thrown around as the AHL Moose are more than likely moving to St. John's)
The board has to agree 75% to it. If the 'Drive to 13,000' is succesful then they pretty much have to ratify the sale.
Naming will probably happen shortly after the board agrees or maybe even before that. The draft is only a few days after the BoG meeting. so I can't them not having a name/logo/jersey for the draft.
Further details, the sale was for $170 million for which $60 million is for relocation. They need to sell up to 13,000 season tickets, to a 15,000 seat arena.
The transfer of ownership requires 75% approval, while relocation only requires a majority.
Suffice it to say Winnipegers and Canadians are very excited about this news, and here's hoping the season ticket drive goes well, and the board approves the sale and relocation.
Yeah it'll suck that Winnipeg is in teh Southeast division for a season, but I think they can get through that for one year and the realign in the Northwest with Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Minnesota.
(edited by Loosie on 31.5.11 1405) Loosie. Your friendly nieghbourhood Canadian.
Growing up as a huge hockey fan on Long Island, I remember being disgusted that the Jets were moving to Phoenix. I always thought the Winnipeg fan base was one of the best so I am happy, many years later, that they are getting another shot. I hope they stay for a long time.
Oh it's been crazy around here today. Parties all over The Forks (Winnipeg's go-to gathering place) and up and down the streets around it. Just a mad house.
Was fun seeing Bettman still get boos even though everyone knew he was coming to announce our new team (we never forget).
Word around here is the team will be the Manitoba _______. The team working is largely dependent on corporate sponsorship and box seats, and the hope is that by incorporating the entire province, they'll get corporate support from Brandon, Portage, and other places.
Got a great comment from my brother today on facebook after Bettman's comments about how we need to sell out every night for this to work: "It'll be fun to see the Jets play the Coyotes in Phoenix and have 75% of the arena cheering for Winnipeg and the other 25% be empty."
His comment about it only working 'if they sell out' every night is kinda of a backhanded slap to the face of Winnipeg. How many other franchise out there struggle to sell out every night? Yet you insist on keeping it working there?
And the Drive to 13,000 hit its goal in only a matter of minutes after season tickets were made available to the general public.
For the first three days, only the 2,000 or so Manitoba Moose season-pass holders could buy seats for the NHL team, which I think was a classy move on behalf of Thrashers management. Now with 13,000 season pass holders, there are only 2,000 general-sale seats available for each home game, owing to the fact that the MTS Centre will be the smallest arena in the NHL. They also filled up an 8,000-name season-pass waiting list.
Well, heck, with that level of enthusiasm, build 'em a new stadium, I'd say!
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I don't really know how the MTS Centre could be expanded without closing a street or two in downtown Winnipeg, which in turn would remove other storefronts/addresses. The location of the arena they chose, right in the heart of the downtown, limited the space available for the arena. The only way I can think of to actually get more seats in there would be to squeeze them closer together, and I don't think anyone would really be in favour of that.
For what it's worth, there were lots of people who were saying "it's too small" when it was initially built, concerned that it wouldn't seat enough for an NHL game. Seeing the ticket sales, it's easy to say that they were right. But at the same time, a smaller arena is going to limit supply and drive demand, which might be healthier long-term for the franchise. Having 8000 people on a waiting list for season tickets is major, that's the sort of thing that gives a team long-term sustainability, and you know that there's even more people who aren't on that list and want to be. If the team can survive and thrive for 15 years, 20 years, 25 years in its current arena, then the ownership group, the city and the province can look at building a new, bigger arena at around the time the MTS Centre would be seeming dated, with the benefit of having a popular, profitable team with devoted ownership to get the ball rolling, something the original Jets franchise most certainly didn't have back before they left.
Originally posted by ChumpstainI don't really know how the MTS Centre could be expanded without closing a street or two in downtown Winnipeg, which in turn would remove other storefronts/addresses. The location of the arena they chose, right in the heart of the downtown, limited the space available for the arena. The only way I can think of to actually get more seats in there would be to squeeze them closer together, and I don't think anyone would really be in favour of that.
Talking to someone who was brought in to survey how to expand the arena a while back, the key to expanding it isn't to build it outwards, it's to build up. When the building was made it was designed for this too.
I think he said that since the rows get wider as you go further up, by the time you reach the top of the building you would only have to add a handful of rows to get a couple thousand seats.
The new NHL season brings back memories of seasons past, so I've decided to do a little retrospective of...the Year of Goaltending Dangerously, when the Flames set the NHL record for most goaltenders used in a season. The year was 1998-99.