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Original "Winnipeg" post

BEST HOCKEY FANS IN THE WORLD

WHAT WINNIPEG WANTS.
WHAT DOWNTOWN NEEDS.

Things haven’t always made sense in Winnipeg. That being said (lightly), we have the ability to decide what we want for the future of our city. We have to stop being known for complaining and do something for ourselves and our kids, the next generation. None of this dream is unattainable. The campaign has already received much media attention all over Canada and it only aims to gain more momentum. Hop on board! And remember, The NHL needs us and much as we need them!

Potential NHL Owners:
I implore you to bring NHL hockey back to our city. Ask our current AHL team owners to join forces or do it alone with your own forces. They know and love hockey but need to listen to what Winnipeg hockey fans really want. Our city is hungry for NHL hockey, it always has been. There was NEVER a concern over support. 35,000+ people rallied to save the team and dished out their own money to do so. Use the “Important Contacts” and “Jet History” link to find out exactly what I am talking about. Contact me. I will explain. Come and place a team in our brand new 15,000+ seat MTS Centre.

Winnipeg is currently undergoing a multitude of exciting changes. Our downtown is seeing plans unfold to fully revitalize including new bridges, sky scrapers, business tax cuts, new landscaping and most importantly, a state-of-the-art arena due to open its doors in 2004. Despite the growth, however, we do need an NHL caliber tenant to fill our new facility to properly spawn all of the economic spin-offs that should come with it.

There is a population base of approximately 715,000 in the Winnipeg vicinity and over a million surrounding a 3 hour radius. A vast majority were born learning to skate before talking. Winnipeg is not a small market and this is why: Raw population has no real significance to the feasibility of a team. What is crucial is not these numbers but rather the number of actual hockey fans there are in a city to draw from. If there is (maybe) 20,000 casual fans in Tampa (pop: 3 million) and 150,000 die-hards in Winnipeg (pop: 0.7 million) who has the larger market now? Per capita hockey fans is the real figure that matters to potential owners like yourself because the dream of huge TV contracts is long gone.

There are more hockey rinks per capita than any city in North America, a fact. There is a huge hockey history here that reached its peak in 1972 when Bobby Hull came to play for the Winnipeg Jets. It extends to the NHL years with hall-of-famer Dale Hawerchuk and the all-time highest scoring rookie, Teemu Selanne. It is reflected by the coining of the “white-out” tradition that has been attempted throughout the league but has never succeeded to nearly the same level. Speaking of level, there is the decibal levels! To this day no city, save maybe the Windy City in the old Chicago Stadium, has produced such pandemonium where play-by-play announcers couldn’t even call the game. Don Cherry himself maintains “there is no question, Winnipeg has the best hockey fans in the world”. So take your Harvard marketing team off the payroll. You no longer need them. Just provide a seat and print a ticket and it will be filled. Paint the seats whatever color you wish…the building will be white anyway.

To Everyone:
I see:

  • 42 nights of 15,000 people packing downtown with 30 new restaurants and bars, vendors, new office buildings and parkades. A re-birth downtown! I do not see this with AHL. Not a chance. 4,500 people running to their cars won't spawn growth or make people feel safe enough to want to spend time downtown before or after a game. The NHL = Proper Revitalization
  • Global television (hello Asper family) with rights to all Jets broadcasts and a Jets network.
  • Instant win lottery revenues, pay-per-view road game packages and casinos helping subsidize operating costs. Can’t happen? Why not?
  • A restructured NHL with salary control and players that now actually WANT to play in Winnipeg, not Nashville, Raleigh, Miami or Atlanta.
  • 4 or 5 American franchises begging to get out in 2004 and selling for rock bottom prices.
  • A reverse of the trend of moving south.
  • Gary Bettmen realizing the strength of die hard, born-and-raised hockey fans rather than created ones.
  • "Winnipeg 5 - Los Angeles 4" shooting across the CNN sports ticker 200 times a night for the world to see again.
  • Transit plans to escort people to the new arena from mall parking lots in a park-and-ride system where bus fare is donations to the club and it saves people from being forced to park downtown if they don't wish to.
  • New Jets logos and merchandise in a new Pro Shop and on an international website.

I see many things........and they are not far fetched. People love to call them that because they are too lazy to make them happen. I say tell me WHY NOT?
Tell me what you see.

Winnipeg…..Potential owners…...lets begin the idea of merging. It almost makes too much sense. Political and financial issues are mainly designed to put out the fire. Problem is, this fire is of massive proportions. It won’t be put out by obstacles. They are NOT impossible to overcome. Quit listening to negative propaganda because it is meant to turn you off. If there is an issue, lets solve it. It is as simple as that. In reality, we really only have one obstacle…to find an owner willing to bet on Winnipeg hockey fans. If that isn’t a sure bet, I don’t know what is.

Winnipeg is perhaps the best place to have an NHL hockey team in North America. Quote me.

I look forward to speaking with you and would be happy to direct you to the personalities in town you need to contact.

Darren Ford
ReturnOfTheJets@mts.net

 
 
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