NEARLY one-third of the Winnipeg Jets' 8,000-person waiting list for season tickets needs replenishing.
The team will make 2,500 slots available today at 10 a.m. via Ticketmaster.
The availability of places on the wait list for the 2012-13 season isn't due to lack of interest, Jets director of corporate communications Scott Brown said Thursday.
"The thing we're most pleased with is the 70 per cent renewal," Brown said. "Plus the fact the majority of those individuals that didn't renew told us they had access to tickets in another way, through work or other options.
"What we have seen through the first year is that there is a benefit to being on the wait list, and this summer very few people told us they just weren't interested any more."
The team said Thursday just 128 wait-list customers graduated into full-season tickets for the upcoming campaign. Some were people who were willing to take just one ticket by itself.
If last spring's season-ticket campaign is any indication, it won't take long to fill the vacant spots today.
The new NHL team sold 13,000 season tickets in a matter of a few days last spring, then compiled an instant wait list of 8,000.
"We're very curious to see what happens (today)," Brown said. "We're not sure, but we hope it will go quickly because we're getting the indication from many people that this is a worthwhile move to be on the wait list."
Brown said that among the benefits is access to late-released single-game tickets.
The Jets also plan to give wait-list members better access to the seat-exchange program, where current season-ticket holders can sell seats they don't want or can't use.
Brown said the Jets didn't consider expanding their wait list.
"No, we are comfortable with that number at 8,000," he said. "We want to keep it a relatively realistic expectation that people will see some reward to being on the wait list.
"And for some of the benefits like attending the open practice, and some of the other benefits that wait-list members can be part of, it has to be manageable."
To get a spot on the wait list, a customer pays a non-refundable $50 fee. Waiting-list spot renewals each summer cost $100, but that cash is held as a credit if a season ticket becomes available.
Places on the wait list are open to the general public. Fans who registered for the Jets' single-game ticket lottery last season received an email blast Thursday alerting them to the wait-list availability today.
Going forward, the Jets said, they will limit the number of wait-list spots to two per person.
NOTES: Also Thursday, the Jets announced the AHL's St. John's IceCaps have signed right-winger Ray Sawada, 27, forward Joey Sides, 26, defenceman Dean Arsene, 32, and defenceman Norm Ezekiel, 21, to AHL contracts.