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Help Bring Back The Jets


josh_cat_eyes

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In Winnipeg, hockey is number one. There is no close second.

I respectfully disagree. Go Blue!

As for the Goldeyes, they hardly compete in the same industry.

It is an advantage for Winnipeg in that it is not a saturated market. Houston has the Texans, Astros, Rockets, and Dynamo. Hockey would be, at best, the fifth most popular sport, and that's if the Comets are having a bad season.

I would also like to take issue with the premise that the era of the gate receipt is over. This is far from the case, and perhaps the NHL is the most stark example of this. The NHL does not have the big television revenues; in fact, the Canadian television deal to my knowledge is worth more than the American one. I don't have the official numbers, but American television receipts now, with more teams in the United States than ever, are lower than they were 12 years ago.

Furthermore, forget for a moment that Winnipeg has zero Fortune 500s; any corporate money earmarked for athletic sponsorship in Winnipeg would flow primarily to the top level, and that would be the Jets. Winnipeg has a large enough corporate base to make it happen, and I'd be surprised if non-native companies didn't look for ways to leverage the most popular brand associations in a growing city of 700,000.

Why would the NHL accept mediocrity from a Winnipeg franchise when it's a negative for an American franchise? Well, for one, "mediocrity" is a large generalization for organizations that run the gamut of making a modest profit to losing $30 million (and Phoenix has a new large arena with luxury boxes galore... that's odd). So, in that sense, a franchise that could be expected to break even in the long haul isn't that bad of a prospect.

Besides, Winnipeg may not be the ideal candidate, but that hasn't stopped individuals making decisions based on non-financial criteria in the past. All it would take for Winnipeg to be home to an NHL team again is a single deep-pocketed individual committed to the vision of NHL hockey in Winnipeg, and that is a dream I'll hang on to.

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Sodboy, I'm not really sure which facts you're talking about.

There are many facts on both sides of the argument. The fact that you don't "think" Winnipeg is hockey-mad enough to support NHL hockey to compensate for its small size does not make it true. That is just your opinion.

There are many statistics and numbers that can be presented for both sides. I firmly believe that Winnipeg could support NHL hockey again. I believe the raw population of Winnipeg and the perceived lack of corporate support are not what will prevent Winnipeg from being an NHL market again.

There are three big things standing in the way of getting NHL hockey back in the peg:

1) The arena is too small and probably wouldn't generate enough revenue.

2) There are no NHL teams currently available to move and the NHL isn't expanding.

3) Someone will be needed to actually buy a team and move them there.

Under a perfect scenario, these could possibly be solved:

1) The arena could be expanded - hopefully to 16,000 without back-breaking expenses. 17,000 would require massive upgrades that may or may not be even feasible.

2) The first NHL team that may move could come as early as next summer. Other teams are waiting in the wings.

3) There is a quiet potential ownership group led by Moose owner Mark Chipman that HAS been working on the issue. To what extent is unkown.

I beleive these are the issues that can be overcome. The city of Winnipeg has the will and the money to support an NHL franchise.

I'm not saying it's gonna happen, but if the above three issues are worked out, Winnipeg will be another NHL success story.

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While I do agree that Winnipeg is a better hockey market than any of the non-traditional cities, the truth is that arena was built too damned small. Whoever was in charge of planning really dropped the ball (puck?) on this one.

You must have had the idea as I did....

They could have built an arena to keep the team there. They could have built a 17-18 thousand seat arena, but they didn't. They dropped the ball (or puck if you will) more than once.

:D

Point of order.

The only reason MTS centre seats 15,000 at all is because they realized that it wouldn't cost much more to put the upper bowl in than to keep it at the projected 10,500 seats they originally designed it for.

The site footprint for MTSC is far too small to expand any further. If you've ever been there, it's crammed into the site it's on as it is (very narrow concourse areas); adding another 2000+ seats is not only a fire hazard, it would be damned near impossible.

Also, Gojetsgo, you forgot another impediment to Winnipeg getting another team. The salary cap. It might have been feasible two seasons ago, when the cap was at 30-40 Million, but the cap has been going up by approximately 9-10% since (2007-08 estimates are that the cap will see a ceiling of $48-49 Million). Add to that another $15-20M in operating costs every year, flight costs (charters aren't cheap, and direct flights to anywhere by Minneapolis, Calgary or Toronto are few and far between), administrative costs, advertising, yadda yadda yadda, you've got a team with an operating budget of $70-80M US. Winnipeggers complain about the cost of concessions at the MTSC now; what happens when you have to increase the beer prices every year to help make up for the potential losses?

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Sodboy, I'm not really sure which facts you're talking about.

There are many facts on both sides of the argument. The fact that you don't "think" Winnipeg is hockey-mad enough to support NHL hockey to compensate for its small size does not make it true. That is just your opinion.

There are many statistics and numbers that can be presented for both sides. I firmly believe that Winnipeg could support NHL hockey again. I believe the raw population of Winnipeg and the perceived lack of corporate support are not what will prevent Winnipeg from being an NHL market again.

There are three big things standing in the way of getting NHL hockey back in the peg:

1) The arena is too small and probably wouldn't generate enough revenue.

2) There are no NHL teams currently available to move and the NHL isn't expanding.

3) Someone will be needed to actually buy a team and move them there.

Under a perfect scenario, these could possibly be solved:

1) The arena could be expanded - hopefully to 16,000 without back-breaking expenses. 17,000 would require massive upgrades that may or may not be even feasible.

2) The first NHL team that may move could come as early as next summer. Other teams are waiting in the wings.

3) There is a quiet potential ownership group led by Moose owner Mark Chipman that HAS been working on the issue. To what extent is unkown.

I beleive these are the issues that can be overcome. The city of Winnipeg has the will and the money to support an NHL franchise.

I'm not saying it's gonna happen, but if the above three issues are worked out, Winnipeg will be another NHL success story.

Not taking sides today but you can't argue someone's fallacy in logic by using the same one.

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Sodboy, I'm not really sure which facts you're talking about.

There are many facts on both sides of the argument. The fact that you don't "think" Winnipeg is hockey-mad enough to support NHL hockey to compensate for its small size does not make it true. That is just your opinion.

There are many statistics and numbers that can be presented for both sides. I firmly believe that Winnipeg could support NHL hockey again. I believe the raw population of Winnipeg and the perceived lack of corporate support are not what will prevent Winnipeg from being an NHL market again.

There are three big things standing in the way of getting NHL hockey back in the peg:

1) The arena is too small and probably wouldn't generate enough revenue.

2) There are no NHL teams currently available to move and the NHL isn't expanding.

3) Someone will be needed to actually buy a team and move them there.

Under a perfect scenario, these could possibly be solved:

1) The arena could be expanded - hopefully to 16,000 without back-breaking expenses. 17,000 would require massive upgrades that may or may not be even feasible.

2) The first NHL team that may move could come as early as next summer. Other teams are waiting in the wings.

3) There is a quiet potential ownership group led by Moose owner Mark Chipman that HAS been working on the issue. To what extent is unkown.

I beleive these are the issues that can be overcome. The city of Winnipeg has the will and the money to support an NHL franchise.

I'm not saying it's gonna happen, but if the above three issues are worked out, Winnipeg will be another NHL success story.

Not taking sides today but you can't argue someone's fallacy in logic by using the same one.

I'm not using the same. He said that my position was "wrong" because of facts that were presented. I disagreed that the facts that he presented made Winnipeg an impossible location for an NHL franchise. Paraphrasing, he said that Winnipeg WILL be a poor location for NHL hockey and that is evident by facts that I am simply ignoring.

I am not presenting my case as fact. There are facts on both sides of the argument. I am merely presenting my opinion, like everyone else is. I'm not singling anyone out and demanding that others respond to the "facts" that I'm presenting.

That's the difference.

While I do agree that Winnipeg is a better hockey market than any of the non-traditional cities, the truth is that arena was built too damned small. Whoever was in charge of planning really dropped the ball (puck?) on this one.

You must have had the idea as I did....

They could have built an arena to keep the team there. They could have built a 17-18 thousand seat arena, but they didn't. They dropped the ball (or puck if you will) more than once.

:D

Point of order.

The only reason MTS centre seats 15,000 at all is because they realized that it wouldn't cost much more to put the upper bowl in than to keep it at the projected 10,500 seats they originally designed it for.

The site footprint for MTSC is far too small to expand any further. If you've ever been there, it's crammed into the site it's on as it is (very narrow concourse areas); adding another 2000+ seats is not only a fire hazard, it would be damned near impossible.

Also, Gojetsgo, you forgot another impediment to Winnipeg getting another team. The salary cap. It might have been feasible two seasons ago, when the cap was at 30-40 Million, but the cap has been going up by approximately 9-10% since (2007-08 estimates are that the cap will see a ceiling of $48-49 Million). Add to that another $15-20M in operating costs every year, flight costs (charters aren't cheap, and direct flights to anywhere by Minneapolis, Calgary or Toronto are few and far between), administrative costs, advertising, yadda yadda yadda, you've got a team with an operating budget of $70-80M US. Winnipeggers complain about the cost of concessions at the MTSC now; what happens when you have to increase the beer prices every year to help make up for the potential losses?

Mark Chipman has said that the MTS centre could hold 16000 for NHL hockey. I can't find a direct quote on that however. As far as expanding 2000+, I agree that it's probably a pipe dream. Some have suggested that massive renovations could allow the arena to be built "higher" and cram more seats in there. It's probably pretty unlikely, but who knows?

As far as the salary cap - there's now way that an NHL team in Winnipeg would be able to spend right at the salary cap. But that doesnt mean it can't be competitive. If they spend 35 million and another team spends 48 million, that difference isn't so huge that you could predict how a team will do based on what they spend. That is a different ballgame than the pre-salary cap days where they had to compete with teams that spent 60-70 million or more.

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Sodboy, I'm not really sure which facts you're talking about.

There are many facts on both sides of the argument. The fact that you don't "think" Winnipeg is hockey-mad enough to support NHL hockey to compensate for its small size does not make it true. That is just your opinion.

There are many statistics and numbers that can be presented for both sides. I firmly believe that Winnipeg could support NHL hockey again. I believe the raw population of Winnipeg and the perceived lack of corporate support are not what will prevent Winnipeg from being an NHL market again.

There are three big things standing in the way of getting NHL hockey back in the peg:

1) The arena is too small and probably wouldn't generate enough revenue.

2) There are no NHL teams currently available to move and the NHL isn't expanding.

3) Someone will be needed to actually buy a team and move them there.

Under a perfect scenario, these could possibly be solved:

1) The arena could be expanded - hopefully to 16,000 without back-breaking expenses. 17,000 would require massive upgrades that may or may not be even feasible.

2) The first NHL team that may move could come as early as next summer. Other teams are waiting in the wings.

3) There is a quiet potential ownership group led by Moose owner Mark Chipman that HAS been working on the issue. To what extent is unkown.

I beleive these are the issues that can be overcome. The city of Winnipeg has the will and the money to support an NHL franchise.

I'm not saying it's gonna happen, but if the above three issues are worked out, Winnipeg will be another NHL success story.

Not taking sides today but you can't argue someone's fallacy in logic by using the same one.

I'm not using the same. He said that my position was "wrong" because of facts that were presented. I disagreed that the facts that he presented made Winnipeg an impossible location for an NHL franchise. Paraphrasing, he said that Winnipeg WILL be a poor location for NHL hockey and that is evident by facts that I am simply ignoring.

I am not presenting my case as fact. There are facts on both sides of the argument. I am merely presenting my opinion, like everyone else is. I'm not singling anyone out and demanding that others respond to the "facts" that I'm presenting.

That's the difference.

While I do agree that Winnipeg is a better hockey market than any of the non-traditional cities, the truth is that arena was built too damned small. Whoever was in charge of planning really dropped the ball (puck?) on this one.

You must have had the idea as I did....

They could have built an arena to keep the team there. They could have built a 17-18 thousand seat arena, but they didn't. They dropped the ball (or puck if you will) more than once.

:D

Point of order.

The only reason MTS centre seats 15,000 at all is because they realized that it wouldn't cost much more to put the upper bowl in than to keep it at the projected 10,500 seats they originally designed it for.

The site footprint for MTSC is far too small to expand any further. If you've ever been there, it's crammed into the site it's on as it is (very narrow concourse areas); adding another 2000+ seats is not only a fire hazard, it would be damned near impossible.

Also, Gojetsgo, you forgot another impediment to Winnipeg getting another team. The salary cap. It might have been feasible two seasons ago, when the cap was at 30-40 Million, but the cap has been going up by approximately 9-10% since (2007-08 estimates are that the cap will see a ceiling of $48-49 Million). Add to that another $15-20M in operating costs every year, flight costs (charters aren't cheap, and direct flights to anywhere by Minneapolis, Calgary or Toronto are few and far between), administrative costs, advertising, yadda yadda yadda, you've got a team with an operating budget of $70-80M US. Winnipeggers complain about the cost of concessions at the MTSC now; what happens when you have to increase the beer prices every year to help make up for the potential losses?

Mark Chipman has said that the MTS centre could hold 16000 for NHL hockey. I can't find a direct quote on that however. As far as expanding 2000+, I agree that it's probably a pipe dream. Some have suggested that massive renovations could allow the arena to be built "higher" and cram more seats in there. It's probably pretty unlikely, but who knows?

As far as the salary cap - there's now way that an NHL team in Winnipeg would be able to spend right at the salary cap. But that doesnt mean it can't be competitive. If they spend 35 million and another team spends 48 million, that difference isn't so huge that you could predict how a team will do based on what they spend. That is a different ballgame than the pre-salary cap days where they had to compete with teams that spent 60-70 million or more.

Yes, you can spend $35M one year, and be competitive. But what happens when those contracts all come up for renegotiation? Do you dismantle and sign new, cheaper players?

You can't plan to spend the minimum, and be competitive. Buffalo got lucky with their team after the lockout, and now with Briere and Drury coming up on FA, they will be lucky to be able to afford one of them. Anaheim got lucky as well, as Selanne may be the bargain of the league. The fact is, you need to spend near the top to have any hope in hell of making any sustained run in the NHL, the teams that are succeeding on small payrolls simply won't be able to catch that same kind of lightning, no matter how big a bottle they might be trying to put it into.

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I agree. If the NHL were to come back to Winnipeg, salary constraints would be an issue and it would prevent them from signing some great players. They won't be able to be consistantly competitive for a decade at a time like Detroit or Toronto (ha ha ha ha).

I don't think that that's reason enough to not have NHL hockey in Winnipeg. There are several teams in the current NHL that will spend near the cap floor instead of the ceiling. But I think the last couple of seasons have demonstrated that parity is the name of the new NHL. This works in Winnipeg's favour.

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I agree. If the NHL were to come back to Winnipeg, salary constraints would be an issue and it would prevent them from signing some great players. They won't be able to be consistantly competitive for a decade at a time like Detroit or Toronto (ha ha ha ha).

I don't think that that's reason enough to not have NHL hockey in Winnipeg. There are several teams in the current NHL that will spend near the cap floor instead of the ceiling. But I think the last couple of seasons have demonstrated that parity is the name of the new NHL. This works in Winnipeg's favour.

History has proven that Winnipeg hockey fans won't continue to spend good money on a middling team. When the league is as gate-driven as it is, this doesn't exactly help Winnipeg's argument in the long run.

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But I think the last couple of seasons have demonstrated that parity is the name of the new NHL. This works in Winnipeg's favour.

Parity works in nobody's favor. That's why it exists in the first place.

--Roger "Time?" Clemente.

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Houston may be a large city, indeed 7 times the size of Winnipeg. However, is it possible that Winnipeggers are seven times more likely to be hockey fans?

It may be possible that the Houston metro population has a large enough population that will provide more seats than Winnipeg might. But this is germane to the discussion, and I'm dealing in facts, not "it may be possibles."

Corporate support is a big issue. Having big companies around to compete for your attention while you're at the game and to support the team for PR reasons is a huge benefit. Companies like Can-West Global, MTS, Manitoba Hydro, and Richardson International don't show up on the Fortune Global 500, it's true.

I'll counter with ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil, Plains Pipeline, Valero, Waste Management, Schlumberger, Continental Airlines, and Baker Hughes, in addition to significant offices from Haliburton, Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, et. al.

But ultimately, the value to a company of attaching their name to a team is based on the value their customers place on that company's attachment to the team. And in Winnipeg, any company seen as having helped bring the Jets to Winnipeg will also benefit from a boost that you wouldn't see from a company seen as bringing the NHL to the Toyota Center.

Sponsorships aren't my point. Those 22 Fortune 500 companies will buy up those 102 Luxury boxes, which would mean a lot more the bottom line, which is the end game of a professional sports franchise, nicht wahr?

Sellouts would put us 25th in attendance, but remember, those would be sellouts, not giveaways.

Houston would have a similar situation to Dallas, where the vast majority of season tickets are sold to corporations, who then dole out the tickets to clients, employees, etc. Once they're sold, it really doesn't matter if they show up or not because the franchise already got its money.

...and if we use the traditional logic of luxury boxes, city size, etc. as an estimator of the team's expected success, why did Nashville (metro pop of 1.5 million) get a team first? Why did Raleigh (metro pop of 0.91 million) get a team first? Why do the Florida Panthers often come up in relocation talk (metro pop of 5.4 million)? Why are the Phoenix Coyotes (metro pop of 3.87 million and the sixth largest city in the USA) losing $30 million in one season?

For the same reasons Brian state. Nashville and Raleigh were large markets untapped by winter professional sports, the Panthers moved out to Podunk, and the current owners of the Coyotes have the approximate financial acumen of those who had the team in Winnipeg in the first place.

I know I'm focusing on the metropolitan population factor, but all of those teams are widely considered to be failing to some degree, and most are losing gobs of money. Most of them are comparable to Houston in every way (if Houston doesn't have the advantage), and yet in every instance Houston was passed over. And all of them have every advantage over Winnipeg... and yet Winnipeg refuses to be left out of the potential relocation destination discussion.

Only because an owner from Houston hasn't stepped up to buy a team. And the only reason Winnipeg remains in relocation discussions are the local citizenship and the Canadian press, as you inadvertently point out for me below.

It was Winnipeggers who made the World Jr's in Grand Forks, North Dakota a veritable Jets love-in, it was Winnipeggers who saved the Jets for another year after corporate support failed, and it's Winnipeggers who are leading the charge in the hopes of one day seeing their beloved team return.

So Winnipeggers can get up for a one-off tournament. Big deal. Lots of places can, but that doesn't make them an ideal location for a professional sports franchise.

The strength of Winnipeg's bid for NHL hockey, relative to competing cities, will never be the potential corporate tie-ins or the quick-buck opportunities. The strength of Winnipeg's been has been and will continue to be Winnipeggers themselves and their desire to see top-tier hockey return to the city. Although that's not currently grabbing the ear of the NHL bigwigs, it's my hope that, as non-traditional markets continue to fail, that desire will one day prevail.

That's nice. Too bad that has approximately .01% to do with the modern sports business environment.

In sum, this discussion boils down to the following:

(1) Manatobians state they can get an NHL franchise and keep it simply with Élan.

(2) Folks point out that it isn't feasible through statistics and logic.

(3) Manatobians retort with the fact that they can get an NHL franchise and keep it simply with Élan.

(4) Fred T. Jane points out that it isn't feasible through statistics and logic that Brian in Boston already stated above. Snap. :)

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Clever pokes at "Manitobians" aside, we all agree that Winnipeg is not going to be the financial valhalla that any franchise owner would want; this is not the issue at hand. The issue at hand is that the city is or is not a feasible host for a franchise in the long term.

Relative benefits of one location with respect to another are not always the primary determinants of where a franchise will ultimately end up. So if you feel very strongly about the future of NHL hockey in Houston, Texas, by all means, proceed to lobby away in whatever manner you choose.

So Winnipeggers can get up for a one-off tournament. Big deal. Lots of places can, but that doesn't make them an ideal location for a professional sports franchise.
Sure lots of places can, but not as many places do. Or do I have to remind you that this year's Women's World Hockey Championship was the most successful WWHC tournament, ever? Or that every World Junior tournament that Winnipeg is involved in (1999, 2005) invariably become poster-children for how to run a WJHC? Might other places have done similarly as well? Perhaps. But as Winnipeg continues to set records, you have to wonder if there's something to that.

One-off tournaments may not be the best indicator for divining whether or not a location is a suitable long-term locale. However, instances exist where a one-off event was a significant factor: is it not true that the United States' successful hosting of the World Cup was a precursor to an entire league forming?

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Here's a statistic that may counter the whole "Winnipeggers won't pay" argument:

The MTS Centre is ranked 4th in Canada, 15th in North America, and 20th in the world in terms of tickets sold to non-sporting events, based on 2005 numbers (I'm not sure what the current rankings are).

This puts the MTS Centre ahead of world class arenas, including GM Place in Vancouver (28th), Rexall Place in Edmonton (32nd), and the Corel Centre in Ottawa (41st), the United Center in Chicago, IL (33rd), American Airlines Center in Dallas (35th), the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO (42nd), and the Staples Center in Los Angeles (53rd).

Many of these tickets are for concerts that demand prices of $100/ticket or more. The myth that Winnipeggers won't pay big prices for entertainment is just that - a myth.

I find it frustrating that every piece of evidence that points to Winnipeg's thirst for NHL hockey and their willingness to pay for it is dismissed with "big deal" and "it doesn't mean anything." I think there's no point in trying to convince someone who has already made up their mind.

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Here's a statistic that may counter the whole "Winnipeggers won't pay" argument:

The MTS Centre is ranked 4th in Canada, 15th in North America, and 20th in the world in terms of tickets sold to non-sporting events, based on 2005 numbers (I'm not sure what the current rankings are).

This puts the MTS Centre ahead of world class arenas, including GM Place in Vancouver (28th), Rexall Place in Edmonton (32nd), and the Corel Centre in Ottawa (41st), the United Center in Chicago, IL (33rd), American Airlines Center in Dallas (35th), the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO (42nd), and the Staples Center in Los Angeles (53rd).

Many of these tickets are for concerts that demand prices of $100/ticket or more. The myth that Winnipeggers won't pay big prices for entertainment is just that - a myth.

I find it frustrating that every piece of evidence that points to Winnipeg's thirst for NHL hockey and their willingness to pay for it is dismissed with "big deal" and "it doesn't mean anything." I think there's no point in trying to convince someone who has already made up their mind.

Isn't it also true that 2005 just happened to be the first full year of operation of the MTS Centre?

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Here's a statistic that may counter the whole "Winnipeggers won't pay" argument:

The MTS Centre is ranked 4th in Canada, 15th in North America, and 20th in the world in terms of tickets sold to non-sporting events, based on 2005 numbers (I'm not sure what the current rankings are).

This puts the MTS Centre ahead of world class arenas, including GM Place in Vancouver (28th), Rexall Place in Edmonton (32nd), and the Corel Centre in Ottawa (41st), the United Center in Chicago, IL (33rd), American Airlines Center in Dallas (35th), the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO (42nd), and the Staples Center in Los Angeles (53rd).

Many of these tickets are for concerts that demand prices of $100/ticket or more. The myth that Winnipeggers won't pay big prices for entertainment is just that - a myth.

I find it frustrating that every piece of evidence that points to Winnipeg's thirst for NHL hockey and their willingness to pay for it is dismissed with "big deal" and "it doesn't mean anything." I think there's no point in trying to convince someone who has already made up their mind.

"Non-sporting events", such as concerts and other events, that aren't offered in 41 seperate showings in one year won't help your arguement much, if at all. These one-time (or twice, at most) shows are going to cost more money, since the demand-per-showing will be a lot greater than 41 (plus preseason) hockey games. 15,000 people (using the hockey attendance in both instances, just to simplify things) are willing to shell out $100+ for a show that they likely won't see again for at least year. Can 15,000 people folks pay at least $100 per game for 41 games a year? And with hockey being so popular up there, what are the chances that management out-price themselves into a poor financial situation? They better know their exact limits on ticket prices, so that they can make the most profit available yet not have prices insanely high.

Another point that no one's mentioned yet is growing the game. Putting a team in Winnipeg doesn't grow the sport any as putting teams in Nashville, Dallas, Atlanta, Phoenix, and San Jose would and have. Growing the game of hockey in non-traditional places can only be a good thing. If the community has embraced the sport and expanded the game locally (such as Dallas, San Jose, and Atlanta), it's great, but if not, they at least gave that market a try.

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^ expanding the game is all well and good, but how about they stop, and take some time to solidify the markets they have. There are pleanty of NHL markets that have problems right now. Why not deal with those before worrying about 'expanding the fanbase' when it's been shakey growth already?

Thats one of my pet peeves with the League in the past 15 years. I have no problem with expanding the league, I just don't see why it's happening so fast.

( I had a long responce lined up, but my train of thought is completely de-railed)

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^ expanding the game is all well and good, but how about they stop, and take some time to solidify the markets they have. There are pleanty of NHL markets that have problems right now. Why not deal with those before worrying about 'expanding the fanbase' when it's been shakey growth already?

Thats one of my pet peeves with the League in the past 15 years. I have no problem with expanding the league, I just don't see why it's happening so fast.

( I had a long responce lined up, but my train of thought is completely de-railed)

They expanded too fast and too soon, everyone knows that, although that expansion fee money sure looks good!

The league has been taking steps to get the current markets in better financial stability and prosperity. For one, they won't be expanding any time soon. Two, they got the Salary Cap, revenue-sharing, etc.. Three, they've improved the game and brought back the offensive spark the league had lost in the late 90's.

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... we all agree that Winnipeg is not going to be the financial valhalla that any franchise owner would want; this is not the issue at hand. The issue at hand is that the city is or is not a feasible host for a franchise in the long term.

In the modern era of major professional sports, whether or not a market provides an owner with financial opportunity is "the issue at hand". A market's financial viability vis a vis offering the owner a return on his/her investment is "the issue at hand". In other words, whether Winnipeg represents a "financial valhalla" for an owner IS , in fact, the "issue at hand", because the market's feasibility as the "host for a franchise in the long term" will dictate the return on said owner's investment.

The notion that some "white knight" of an owner is going to finance Winnipeg's return to the National Hockey League out of pure altruism - as opposed to wanting to realize a return on the investment - is the stuff of fantasy. If love of ice hockey amongst the target market's fan-base were the determining factor as to whether a given community could successfully support a National Hockey League franchise, Winnipeg likely wouldn't have lost the Jets to begin with. However, the world of modern professional sports is driven by the almighty dollar. That's a cold, hard fact - one which does not bode well for Winnipeg's future as an NHL market.

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I think it's great that there trying to get a new team. The fact that they built (or are building) a arena is kinda crazy especially since Kansas City is the next city to get a NHL team. But i would love to see the Jets come back.

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The MTS Centre is ranked 4th in Canada, 15th in North America, and 20th in the world in terms of tickets sold to non-sporting events, based on 2005 numbers (I'm not sure what the current rankings are).

This puts the MTS Centre ahead of world class arenas, including GM Place in Vancouver (28th), Rexall Place in Edmonton (32nd), and the Corel Centre in Ottawa (41st), the United Center in Chicago, IL (33rd), American Airlines Center in Dallas (35th), the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO (42nd), and the Staples Center in Los Angeles (53rd).

Many of these tickets are for concerts that demand prices of $100/ticket or more. The myth that Winnipeggers won't pay big prices for entertainment is just that - a myth.

How many other first-rate venues for hosting such events exist within a 75-mile radius of Winnipeg? 150 miles? 300 miles? Is it safe to say that MTS Centre has a strangle-hold on the Winnipeg marketplace - indeed, Manitoba - when it comes to offering up a venue of it's type and quality in the region? I only ask, because in several of the other Metro Areas which you mention, the arenas you've listed share their marketplace with several other world-class performance venues.

As for how much money Winnipeggers are willing to spend on attending events, are you implying that most Winnipeggers are springing for $100 tickets to 40-plus non-sporting events a year? After all, NHL franchises play a 40-game home schedule. Further, will the average Winnipegger be willing to continue forking over cash for so many non-sporting events when they have to factor the purchase of NHL ticket packages into their entertainment budget, or will supporting an NHL franchise drain the expenditure of disposable income away from other events?

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