- MTS Centre only seats 15,100,
doesn’t the NHL require 17,000 minimum?
- The average Winnipegger can't
afford to take a family of 5 out to a hockey game
with the "cheap seats" costing between $60-$100
each. That can make 1 regular season hockey game cost
- Before the Jets left,
Winnipeg did not support the Jets. Often, the Jets
would only have 11,000-12,000 fans per game when tickets
were between $40-$50 for good seats(not including
the playoffs of course)
- Now that NHL economics
are more stable, wouldn’t the new landscape make it
easier for the weaker market teams to survive, therefore
leaving no teams for possible relocation?
- Will Winnipegger's
support the Jets when they are playing bad? Just a
few years ago, when the Bombers were playing really
bad under Jeff Reinbold, the team was only getting
20,000 fans/game, at reduced ticket prices.
- Where would the Moose go?
Could we have both?
- Is this an anti-Moose campaign?
- Why did you start this whole
- Is there money in Winnipeg
to front such an effort?
- It has been rumoured
that you have spoken to some prominent people about
this issue. Is this true?
- What do you think of MTS Centre?
- How was the website created?
Who designed it?
- It seems the "struggling"
southern teams in the NHL are now posting pretty good
attendence figures. Why would they leave?
1. MTS Centre only seats
15,100, doesn’t the NHL require 17,000 minimum?
The NHL requires no such thing. Most large
arenas don't even come close to selling-out on a regular
basis. MTS Centre has the exciting ability to be the
loudest and most intimidating arena in the league. At
the same time, at 15,100 seats it will not show a single
empty seat while still generating adequate revenue.
There is absolutely NO link between facility sizes and
success. A bad hockey market with a 20,000 seat arena
is still a bad hockey market.
2. The average Winnipegger
can't afford to take a family of 5 out to a hockey game
with the "cheap seats" costing between $60-$100
each. That can make 1 regular season hockey game cost
First of all, “cheap seats” will not be $60-$100.
The best seats will be that price. This is a common
tactic used by skeptics to inflate the sense that tickets
will be out of reach for the average citizen. Secondly,
who takes all five members of their family to every
sporting event? I don’t know any. When I was young my
dad split tickets amongst my brother, mother and I.
The fact is that people in this era have started to
look at season tickets differently, in every city. You
can split season tickets and draft out games between
friends or you can buy mini-packs. There would be all
kinds of options for all kinds of financial means including
installment plans. If you split up a great pair of $5200
season tickets (that's an average $59 ticket) four ways
with friends or co-workers, you are left with 22 games
per person at an expense of $1300 each. Make payments
of $108 a month and you've got yourself 22 great nights
of the best hockey in the world. Cheaper if you want
into the upper bowl. It really isn't rocket science.
And yes, the best seat to a Jets game ten years ago
was indeed $35-$55 but gasoline was also 45 cents a
litre. It is double the price now and we all seem to
still be driving around just as much
3. Before the
Jets left, Winnipeg did not support the Jets. Often,
the Jets would only have 11,000-12,000 fans per game
when tickets were between $40-$50 for good seats(not
including the playoffs of course)
We now know what we have lost. We previously took the
Jets for granted and assumed the team would never leave
this community. One wrong assessment and eight years
later, we are just as much a hockey market as ever but
we want the highest caliber back. In addition, the team
of the past was never really marketed all that well.
Barry Shenkarow and the boys fell into NHL ownership
by fluke and had little desire to extend themselves
in the PR category. We now have the opportunity to bring
new ownership with fresh ideas to the table. We now
have digital PayTV options and many other sources of
revenue that weren't thought of or available in the
1980s. Add to that all of the concessions that were
previously swallowed by Winnipeg Enterprises and you’ve
got the foundation for a successful franchise. There
is no reason that MTS Centre couldn't be sold out each
and every game with 15,000+ fans. What a thought…a Jets
ticket that’s hard to come by! Minnesota and Denver
both successfully regained NHL franchises after poor
turn-outs for their predecessors. I hate to answer a
question with a question but why would Winnipeg be any
4. Now that NHL
economics are more stable, wouldn’t the new landscape
make it easier for the weaker market teams to survive,
therefore leaving no teams for possible relocation?
Those cities won't look any better in any scenario.
Even if it is economically made easier to survive they
still won't. They will still lose money and find it
tough to draw fans that they have tried to create through
marketing rather than fans that already exist (like
here in The Peg). During the lockout hockey wasn't even
being discussed in most of the current NHL markets.
It won’t be long before they will forget again and become
even more disinterested than they already are. The last
10 years have been a huge failure and the NHL has now
realized the American TV revenue dream has long expired
(a big reason they wanted to get the Jets out of Winnipeg
if you remember). It is, and always will be, a gate-driven
league. That means ticket sales will drive revenues.
The paying, attending fans. Where are there more fans
per-capita than just about anywhere else in North America?
Right here in Winnipeg, perhaps the best place the NHL
could relocate to get this sport back on its feet. We
will forgive them, say “we told you so”, and be glad
that we weren’t a part of the worst 10 years of the
5. Will Winnipegger's
support the Jets when they are playing bad? Just a few
years ago, when the Bombers were playing really bad
under Jeff Reinbold, the team was only getting 20,000
fans/game, at reduced ticket prices.
They'll have to. We must come together and meet the
potential this city has instead of always under-achieving.
We must erase our poor national reputation and be the
country’s success story. The spin-offs both economically
and mentally are countless. It's time we step up and
make Winnipeg a proud place to call home again and have
a NHL hockey team to call our own and be proud of, through
thick and thin. We just won’t get our coach to ride
into town on a Harley with shades on!
6. Where would the
Moose go? Could we have both?
I believe many smaller markets would be ecstatic to
have an AHL franchise. This market, however, had the
best and little else will suffice. Although both teams
could co-exist if they were each other’s affiliates,
it may be a stretch to think both could survive at the
gate. Even Edmonton will not know if the Oilers and
Roadrunners can co-exist until both see an entire season
7. Is this an anti-Moose
Not by any means. If the people of Winnipeg want to
support the Moose I commend them. Unfortunately we all
know that most people do not follow the hockey team
and rarely even pay if they do attend a game. I am not
saying that this is right. I am merely revealing the
facts. The team is not in the hearts of Manitobans and
never will be. People do not follow the AHL standings,
they watch the Oilers or Flames (yuk!) on satellite
TV. That being said, my issue with the Moose is not
with the caliber of hockey as much as it is about putting
the proper tenant into MTS Centre. The tenant in MTS
Centre must fully create the spin-offs and downtown
revitalization that should come with a facility of its
size. Having an empty upper bowl until U2 or AC/DC come
to town isn’t utilizing the building’s ability. It must
house the NHL again. It will house the NHL again. We
must return to hostility towards the Vancouver Canucks
instead of mere support for their "up-and-comers".
8. Why did you start
this whole thing?
I began this campaign mainly because I was sick of NOT
hearing about how the NHL could return to Winnipeg.
It took looking far into the future. It took thick skin.
It took work. But if we never went uphill we would never
accomplish anything. As expected, the naysayers came
out of the woodwork. Then the attacks came. However,
it wasn’t long before credibility came and slowly it
all started to make sense to more and more people. Surprise,
surprise. Now, eighteen months after the campaign began,
the predictions of JetsOwner.com have turned into reality
and we are well into the lockout. Now people are saying
“I guess you never know, eh?”. Biting my lip I respond,
“that’s right, you never know”. The point has always
been this: why ever say ‘I wish we were ready’ when
we can say ‘we were ready’. Lets be ready. So many people
would tell me that there was no way the Jets were coming
back. My response to them was always “tell me why not”.
It is so easy to squash something and much harder to
stand by it. But you know what…it will all be worth
it in the end, for us, our city and the next generation.
I stick to my ideology. I don't buy into our inferiority
complex. It's time we turn it around.
9. Is there money
in Winnipeg to front such an effort?
One thing to remember is that there is much more wealth
in Winnipeg, and Manitoba for that matter, than popular
belief would have you think.
10. It has
been rumoured that you have spoken to some prominent
people about this issue. Is this true?
I do keep very close to the issues relating to this
cause. While I will not disclose the individuals specifically,
I can say that I remain very positive about the future
of the NHL back in Winnipeg. If I wasn’t, I couldn’t
continue running such a campaign. Keep your fingers
11. What do you think
of MTS Centre?
I have to say that the architects did an outstanding
job with the space they were given. The seating bowl
is much larger in reality than pictures give justice.
The sightlines are great besides some required safety
railing obstructions that may cut into a tiny portion
of the rink during play. The concourses are just fine,
the food will be world-class and technology is at the
state-of-the-art level. Mark Chipman gave me an exclusive
loko at the entire building a week prior to the grand
opening, including the dressing rooms, press box and
luxury suites. All of these features are NHL caliber.
Seats in the arena range from 17-20 inches wide in the
regular seating bowl (excluding suites) and there isn't
a bad seat in the house. It is certainly squeezed onto
the property it sits on, but that's what happens when
you want your arena on a downtown city block. Room was
made for the extensive skywalk system which includes
being able to leave your jacket in your vehicle and
walk entirely indoors from the parkade to the skywalk
to the gate and even to the Powerhouse pub if you should
desire. All-in-all, MTSC is NHL ready and very modern.
12. How was the
website created? Who designed it?
The original JetsOwner.com, launched on June 1st of
2003 was entirely self-designed as was the content.
Since its inception it had undertaken minor changes
and had always been under my strict control. The intent
early on was to just get something up and running after
a promise on CJOB (yuk!) that I would have a website
by June 1, 2003. Free Press columnist Scott Taylor had
also promised to give it publicity once it was launched.
I think I just wanted to see if he would hold his end
of the bargain! Having absolutely no web design experience,
I turned to an old friend at CKUW (U of W radio) named
Broose Tulloch. He guided me, crafted my sketched ideas
for the site and gave me unlimited bandwidth for which
to host this website. Thanks for believing early on
Broose! After 33 months under this format it became
time to give the entire site a whole new look. One that
would be top notch and professional looking. In February
of 2006, web designer Lauren Robb came through in a
big way, dedicating endless hours of his time making
all of my ideas come to life and creatively adding some
of his own. Lauren had helped me with some issues the
previous two years and was keen on heading up the huge
project. In addition, the long time goal of including
an online store for which to buy campaign merchandise
was finally brought to life by Trackitback CEO, Jason
Wagner. With everything in place, the new JetsOwner.com
went live on March 1, 2006.
13. It seems the
"struggling" southern teams in the NHL are
now posting pretty good attendence figures. Why would
They would leave because eventually the true
attendence figures would reveal the real lack of interest
in hockey in their city. They would be forced to come
to terms with these true figures rather than the obvious
false numbers that are being posted by many teams in
the NHL. Better yet, they would just have to open their
eyes. Journalists see it. Players see it. Anyone that
is actually in the arena sees it. Many seats remain
empty in NHL arenas despite attendences being announced
as nearly full or far higher than what can be seen.
Many NHL teams arrive at their attendence figures by
counting the amount of seats "accounted for".
This essentially means that any ticket, whether in the
office lunchroom, in your pocket at home or ripped at
the gate, is counted towards the final tally. Seems
ridiculous yet it's true. The actual number of people
that rip their ticket at the gate is far less, which
in turn hurts spin-off revenues like concessions, merchandise
and parking. If there is nobody in the seat that is
"accounted for" then no popcorn purchase,
t-shirt purchse or vehicle exists to generate that revenue.
To make things worse, those tickets that are
ripped at the gate are often heavily discounted
or even free, therefore hurting shear ticket sales revenue.
As a rule, I like to subtract 25% of what many teams
post as their game attendence. This results in a more
accurate assessment and sometimes even that number is