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  • 03/06/2011, 11:21PM ET

Will NHL return to Winnipeg?

red_sox_fan (0-8-0) vs Sabih (102-48-19)
2
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9
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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?


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.

MTC


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.


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.


Forfeited Turn


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.

March 6, 2011  11:23 PM ET

Because you touch yourself at night.

March 7, 2011  01:16 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Because you touch yourself at night.

Damn! I guess this means L.A. is never getting a football team.

March 7, 2011  01:35 AM ET

Lose-ipeg.

March 7, 2011  09:34 AM ET

We have a great arena in the MTS Centre

Unfortunately, it is not a great arena...It is a 15,000 seat minor league building with poor sightlines and a tiny concourse (since it was built on much too small a piece of property)...And for some reason, there is no access for people to visit each other from the lower and upper levels...

March 7, 2011  11:03 AM ET

I think their are more winnipeg hockey fans on this TD than in all of Phoenix.

I would have voted for you red sox fan but that was weak. There's way more to argue than that...

March 7, 2011  11:05 AM ET

"to say its cold in winnipeg is an understatement"

it's no colder than edmonton or minnesota

Comment #7 has been removed
Comment #8 has been removed
March 7, 2011  03:27 PM ET

In the terms of fans, I think Winnipeg is on the right track, but I think it comes down to proving why they won't lose another NHL team this time around. I don't think the "let's just try it out" adage is going to work here....

March 7, 2011  03:47 PM ET

They can have the Islanders, lol

March 7, 2011  07:01 PM ET

Come back to Winnipeg? YES! Florida, and Atlanta are jokes of teams...

March 7, 2011  07:05 PM ET

"And the city is not appealing to FA"

Yeah, because LA,NY,Florida,Arizona and Texas are such a hot-bed for FA's.... other than that stupid comment, Sabeeh certainly has this argument in the bag.

March 7, 2011  08:27 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

"And the city is not appealing to FA"Yeah, because LA,NY,Florida,Arizona and Texas are such a hot-bed for FA's.... other than that stupid comment, Sabeeh certainly has this argument in the bag.

agreed

March 7, 2011  09:20 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

"And the city is not appealing to FA"Yeah, because LA,NY,Florida,Arizona and Texas are such a hot-bed for FA's.... other than that stupid comment, Sabeeh certainly has this argument in the bag.

It has nothing to do with it being a hockey city but the city itself. The climate and culture are huge negatives.

The temperature in Winnipeg is -10 C OR 14.5 F. Right now it is -21 C or -6 F.

Why would your family want to live there when they can live in FLA, CALI or ZONA

Look what happened with Pronger in Edmonton. Some even say Gretzky's trade may have been the result of his wife (I dont subscribe to that theory)

March 8, 2011  12:32 AM ET

I would prefer to see hockey in Winnipeg rather than Phoenix, however terrible arguments by left about MTS's inability to become an NHL facility causes a right vote.

March 8, 2011  08:58 AM ET

It will return someday but red sox fan you gotta have more than 3 or 4 lines for each argument... You have 1200 characters per argument ... use them!

Comment #17 has been removed
March 8, 2011  10:41 AM ET

we're never going to get a team with that effort

March 8, 2011  12:29 PM ET

Good call on the angry dwarf not allowing hockey to move from US.... Pretty much sold me on the reality of the moment. Did anyone see a recent article regarding ratings for televised Florida Panther games being outdone by infomercials?

 
March 8, 2011  10:04 PM ET
QUOTE(#19):

Did anyone see a recent article regarding ratings for televised Florida Panther games being outdone by infomercials?

Really, that is sad.

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