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* Full season includes 3 exhibition games and 41 regular season games.

The million dollar question right? How much is this all going to cost a Winnipeg hockey fan. For years I have listened to outrageous claims from mis-informed media that insist that NHL hockey would cost $150 a ticket on average! Or that a family of 6 would have to re-mortgage their house to buy season tickets. It would seem that I am joking here, but I am citing actual comments from people who clearly haven't done their research nor understand the concept of splitting season tickets or maybe not taking every last family member to every single game. And when you do decide to take someone to the game, you'll paying an average ticket price of $75 by the way. A far cry from the $150 some might have you believe.

But seriously, there is no doubt NHL hockey will cost triple what the AHL currently costs in MTS Centre. But at the same time Winnipeg and its downtown will see triple the economic spin-offs from this shift in the caliber of hockey played there (see "Winnipeg" section). What people want to know most is whether or not fans will actually pay this kind of money, regardless of how the team is doing on the ice, game after game, year after year. The quick answer...they'll have to!

I could go on and on about how I just feel that Winnipeg is a hockey-crazed city, how we'd rally around the new Jets and be the story of the decade, or how this time around we wouldn't take the Jets for granted. But it would be speculative, or so I'm told.

Also see Revenue Crunch

I could remind you that over 90 companies currently support the AHL Moose in this city in the form of luxury suites. Another 95 companies support the team in other ways or in other premium seating. I find it impossible to believe that these same companies wouldn't support the NHL if it was the hockey being played in MTS Centre instead, albeit at triple the cost. At the very least, we would see some of them bundle up and share a suite. But remember, some new companies would be coming forward who aren't interested in the hockey being played at MTS Centre right now. In short, the corporate support is here.

I could also cite my usual spiel on how Winnipeg may be a "small market" but actually is a larger HOCKEY market than many teams currently in the league. That is where I would normally rant about how the real statistic the NHL needs to look at is not raw population, but rather hockey fans per-capita. That's why they're in the mess they're in. We give hockey top priority, top story and buy it free of gimmicks. Winnipeg also doesn't have a stretched sports dollar, meaning we don't have the NBA, MLB, NFL or NASCAR or huge college sports to interfere with the disposable income people square away for sports. Since the big TV dream in the United States is finally dead, the NHL will clearly be a gate-driven league. Where are there fans willing to pay and use tickets (and by 'pay' I mean full price; and by 'use' I mean actually show up and sit in the seat)? Well, I'll give you a hint...MTS Centre is smack-dab in the heart of the radius.

Here's what to expect to pay for those seats. Remember, when the financial powers of this city decide to jump off the AHL bridge into NHL waters...we have to jump with them.

Above is a hypothetical seating/pricing chart for what NHL hockey would cost in MTS Centre. Notice that it also includes monthly financing figures, an option that would make it easier for many people to pay for tickets. We do it for everything else in life...why not hockey? It should also be noted that these prices are based off a season ticket price per game. Game day walk-ups would be slightly higher as seen in its own price column. Luxury suites, only indicated in the "Revenue Crunch" section linked at the top of this page, would run our big companies $150,000 per season. Or they could split a suite just like we could split a season ticket.

These figures are what I see as resaonable prices while still bringing in Top 10 gate revenue of over $1.1 million CDN (or $946,000 USD @ 0.85 exchange rate) per game assuming a sellout. This figure shouldn't sway much as a few hundred walk-up door prices per game would cancel-out a few hundred empty seats the odd game. That being said, the idea is really to not EVER have a ticket available on game day. With a 15,000 seat arena, this shouldn't occur. And now we're back to why a 19,000 seat arena would be too much for our market. Keep supply low and demand high! And NO FREEBIES!

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