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Jets' website posting doesn't cut it with fans

SOME Winnipeg Jets fans are unhappy with the official comment from the team about the end of the lockout.

A brief comment was posted on the team's official website by president and CEO Jim Ludlow and Norva Riddell, senior vice-president, sales and marketing, thanking Jets fans and the community "for being patient with our organization, the league and the players during the negotiation process that led up to this exciting news."

The gesture left season-ticket holder Chris Shinnimin quite displeased.

Shinnimin said the comment from the Jets management is less than sincere and meaningless compared to the frustration he and other fans endured during the lockout.

"You feel like (team owner True North Sports & Entertainment) haven't learned anything," Shinnimin said. "Just think, in what other industry do you take money from a customer, then withhold services for an indeterminate amount of time and then offer no sort of apologetic gesture with a monetary valued attached to it and expect that business to keep coming back?"

The Jets were the only Canadian-based NHL team to post a comment about the end of the lockout on its official website. South of the border, Penguins co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle apologized to their fans.

Shinnimin said the apology from the Penguins owners was a nice gesture, but he questioned if they really meant it when they failed to offer their season-ticket holders any sort of discount as compensation.

Shinnimin said the Jets ownership is taking advantage of the deeply held obsession local fans have for the team.

"The only reason they get away with it is because we all love hockey so much here, we end up coming back."

Shinnimin, who holds a share in a pair of seats the MTS Centre, said he will be going to games this season, but he'll cut back on his game-night spending to protest the team's failure to recognize the damage it has done to its fans.

"I bought a white 'away' jersey last year and I was going to buy a 'home' blue jersey, but I definitely won't now," he said. "I'm definitely going to be a lot more mindful of how I'm spending my money on concessions and merchandise."

Jets fan Mike Boyeschko said today's NHL -- teams and players -- have priced themselves beyond the reach of the average working person.

"I came to Winnipeg last March and I wanted to take in a couple of games, but it would have cost me almost $1,000 for a family of three," said Boyeschko, who lives in Thunder Bay, Ont. "How can the average Joe afford to do that now? We're not all millionaires like these hockey players."

Boyeschko said he wasn't impressed with the team's comment on its website, adding the Jets and players should have addressed the anger felt by fans and the hockey community. "What about maybe a 'sorry' to all your fan base?"

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 8, 2013 A3


Updated on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:13 AM CST: fixes broken link

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