True North Sports & Entertainment will embark on a multimillion-dollar upgrade to the upper bowl concourse of the MTS Centre this summer, part of the biggest renovation to the home of the Winnipeg Jets since the building opened more than nine years ago.
The first moves will be adding 4,000 square feet of space at the northeast, southeast and southwest corners by knocking down some walls and "infilling" the balconies all the way to the outer walls of the 300 level, increasing the washroom facilities and improving the food and beverage services.
The timing is no accident. The three-year commitment for the slightly more than 6,000 seats in the P6 and P7 sections expire at the end of this season.
"Our intentions are long term and significant in terms of reinvestment and fan experience. That's what we're all about," said Jim Ludlow, True North's president and CEO.
Dubbed "True North 2020," the major reinvestment plan driving the evolution of the MTS Centre is expected to cost between $20 million and $30 million and be completed over six years.
Hockey fans will likely have noticed one change already -- a just-completed vestibule at the Portage Avenue and Donald Street doors, which controls the climate at the main entrance.
Ludlow said based on the responses True North received to a recent questionnaire sent to upper bowl season ticket holders, he expects a high percentage of renewals.
The survey results also indicated the need for the other changes, particularly the washrooms.
Facilities in the upper concourse will more than double from 36 to 75 toilets and urinals for men and increase from 44 to 57 toilets for women.