I Believe Winnipeg is a strong NHL market it will adjust

Photo credit:© Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports
By Goose
4 months ago
Be sure to check Betway to check out the latest Jets game day odds and bet on the NHL!   Having just watched the Gary Bettman press conference, my fears about the Winnipeg Jets leaving have returned to a reasonable level.But like LLoyd Christmas there’s still a chance for this team to leave again.
I just joke that Mr. Bettman would actually let the Jets leave Winnipeg. Bettman noted that True North Sports and Entertainment has invested heavily in the community.
Bettman would open up by saying,
“The lack of ticket sales ultimately doesn’t matter because all teams go through ups and downs. I believe the ticket base will evolve back to where it was… I know Mark Chipman and David Thompson are not only interested in surviving in the NHL but thriving… this will get sorted out. I don’t view this as a crisis, but I believe that there needs to be collaboration between the community, the fan base, and the club. I believe that it will be here.'”
This leaves me with confidence that everyone will come together to make this work in Winnipeg. In the last few days, amidst the panic, how many people have considered buying season tickets for next year or even tickets to finish up the current season? Probably tons. The collaboration from the community is there and will continue as long as the organization doesn’t lie to the fan base.


Bettman would also remind us that he does these visits as often as possible and was here last year for Filipino Heritage Night.
I share Mark’s [Chipman] view on the attendance, but there is no deadline on when we need to hit 13,000 season tickets sold. He’s focused on making sure the fan base is fully engaged. This is what some franchises go through. I remember other Canadian markets where the fan base aged out and they needed to engage with younger fans. It happens.’ Let’s be clear about something: I believe this is a strong NHL market and it will adjust.”
Until you hear Chipman or Bettman say, “You have to sell out every game or the team is gone for the next season,” the team won’t leave. Winnipeg has had its wings clipped by the pandemic, and inflation has hit this city harder than others, but the hard times will pass and seats will sell again.
Let’s be real, do you think you’re getting a ticket for game two of the third round by walking up to Ticketmaster on the day of? You will not; in fact, you might get laughed at. Playoff tickets in this city will be a hot item. There will not be any noise about the team relocating in June if the Jets are still selling tickets then.
Bill Daly would go on to say, “The Winnipeg Jets are looked at in the NHL as a model franchise which is well-run top to bottom and puts together a competitive team on the ice and spends to the cap and the club’s investment in the community and charitable causes and investment in the city. We wish we had 32 of these.'”
Of course, the NHL wants 32 Winnipegs; that’s 32 fired-up cities for hockey. That’s 32 teams spending nearly $90 million on players. Winnipeg turned the Atlanta Thrashers from a $177 million team into a $780 million one. That’s not an accident; the NHL notices when a team increases its value 4.6 times.
Bettman was asked directly about Chipman’s quote, “Given the situation, this will not work over the long haul.” Bettman would respond with, “I need this little note, do not delete: ‘He [Chipman] doesn’t just want a team in the NHL; he wants a team that has the foundation of success. He wants to be competitive every year. He would like to bring the Stanley Cup to Winnipeg. So, if the team is going to have the resources and the ability to compete at the highest level and spend to the cap as they have, it’s important for the building to be full.'”
This makes perfect sense; you need bums in seats to have the money to spend to the cap, and the Jets like to do that. If Chipman’s message is, “Hey, I need y’all to come to the games so I can bring in and pay my talent,” I’m fine with it. Just tell us honestly if you are lacking liquid funds.
Bettman would bring up the 2011 ticket sales when it first opened up.
“The way the ticket season base was created was a bit of an anomaly because the tickets sold out in 15 minutes; there wasn’t a need or an opportunity to get business support in the beginning. It doesn’t matter what happened in the past; it’s about how we are going to evolve from here. I have all the confidence in this market and organization.”
Hindsight is 20/20; if the Jets could have tucked a solid 4,500 tickets aside for corporate season tickets and had fewer rules about those tickets (apparently, the corporate season ticket holders couldn’t give tickets to clients; I have only been told that, so I don’t know how true it is, but the source is very reliable), I’m sure they would have made it easier for the business community. But sometimes you need to live and learn.
The final message from the commission is a simple one, and I like it.
Get over your anxiety and go to games.'”
It may sound a bit tone-deaf, considering the challenges facing the people of Winnipeg, but he also knows that brighter days are ahead for us.

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