- 03/06/2011, 11:21PM ET
red_sox_fan said 03/06, 11:21 PM
We have a great arena in the MTS Centre and a great ownership group in David Thomson and Mark Chipman. Two teams are currently ready to move. Why can't we get a team?
Sabih said 03/07, 01:02 AM
Money is the biggest hurdle. Winnipeg loves hockey, the question is can they pay for it.
Winnipeg has the 19th highest average household income amongst Canadian cities. They rank behind all the 6 cities that already have teams in Canada.
Second is the population. The metro population of Winnipeg is about 700K. That will put them at the bottom of the league in terms of market size.
Put those two things together and you have a hard time selling tickets and merchandise. Initially the team will do fine but will they be able to sustain their revenues in the long-term.
Now you are thinking, look at the American cities that have 5 people in the arena. Surely Winnipeg can do better.
You are right. But a lot of those teams are being greatly subsidized by the municipalities.
Look @ Phoenix, the city of Glendale is covering any losses incurred by the team for 2010-2011 despite the city struggling to cover its own cost.
Can you imagine a city council in Winnipeg doing that?
Finally, the weather and the city. To say its cold in Winnipeg is an understatement. And the city is not very appealing to FA.
red_sox_fan said 03/08, 12:07 AM
We have lots of corporate interest and plan to sell about 13000 season tickets, at least that is the goal. We have people coming from Sask and North Dakota. Soon to be announced. Additional revenue streams are being built in downtown. Casino/hotel.
Sabih said 03/08, 12:35 AM
Another thing about the MTS Centre that was pointed out by the Golden Bay.
At 15 000 capacity, it would be the smallest arena in the NHL. The next smallest arena is the NYI Nassau Collesium with 16 250 capacity. Its even smaller than the old Winnipeg arena which had a capacity of 15393
Winnipeg would become the smallest market to have an NHL team @ approx 700 K population.
The current smallest markets is Edmonton with around followed by Calgary. Both of them have a metro population of a million.
The other problem (which is not Winnipeg's fault) is Gary Bettman's insistence on making hockey a popular sport in USA. Especially in markets that are clearly struggling to support hockey teams. And just as these teams are about to be bought out by someone willing to move the team, Bettman and Co. throw a wrench into the proceedings allowing an owner to emerge who is willing to keep the team OR allowing the city to come up with an incentive plan to keep the team.
Sabih said 03/09, 02:35 AM
There are a lot of question marks around Winnipeg's ability to support an NHL team.
A quick fact about Winnipeg, it is the slowing growing metropolis out of the top 15 Canadian cities. Growing only 2.67% from 01 to 06.
The next slowest growing city is St Catherines at 3.53%.
Compare that to Toronto (9.19%), Vancouver (6.52%), Calgary (13.43%) and Edmonton (10.35%)
This shows two things. The market size is not growing and the city may not be a very attractive place for people to move to.
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