August 2, 2015


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Winnipeg Jets

True fans: Over 96 per cent of those eligible renew Jets season tickets

THE questions have been out there — in Winnipeg and around the NHL — since the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg and became the Jets.

Was the whole episode of the Jets selling all 13,000 available season tickets in about three days just an overbought hysteria that wouldn’t last?

Winnipeg Jets fans walk into the MTS Centre.

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Winnipeg Jets fans walk into the MTS Centre. Photo Store

Could the demand possibly remain that high?

The first real answers to those questions are in.

In the first renewal window for Winnipeg Jets seasonticket holders, more than 96 per cent of the approximately 4,300 upper-deck seats in the P6 and P7 group of the MTS Centre have been renewed, True North senior vicepresident of business partnerships and account services Norva Riddell confirmed Friday.

Those sections originally required a three-year commitment back in 2011 and when the renewal window was open between Jan. 14 and Feb. 21, True North offered those customers another three years, or a longer extension up to six years.

Half re-upped for three years and the other half chose terms between four and six years, Riddell said.

"That was surprising," she said Friday about the choice for extra years. "And we are delighted with that. We just didn’t know. Delighted with those results, for sure."

The overall renewal number pleased True North officials, Riddell added.

"Absolutely thrilled," she said.

The results of this first renewal period — seats in the P3, P4 and P5 zones go next year while P1 and P2 come up in 2016 — confirm for True North that Jets fans are eager for these ticket partnerships, Riddell said.

"The partnership with our seatholders is important to us and it’s imperative that the investments we’re making back into the MTS Centre coincide with investments people are making with us," she said.

True North has already started with renovations and upgrades to the MTS Centre, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this fall. The new merchandise store at the north end of the suite concourse is complete and upgrades to washroom space, concession options and crowd flow, costing between $5 and $7 million, will take place on the upper (300) concourse this summer, part of an overall five-year plan to re-invest $30 million in the facility.

This year’s renewal process for P6 and P7 ticket-holders included those who bought half-season packages. The number of those seats is being maintained but are only available in P6 and P7 sections.

The only disappointment in these developments — disappointment being in the eye of the beholder — is this renewal process leaves only about 175 seats to go to current wait-list customers.

From the start of this process in 2011 until now, only about 200 seats have changed hands to those on the 8,000seat wait list.

"Keep in mind the wait list serves two purposes," Riddell said. "One, that you want to purchase Winnipeg Jets season tickets in time, and two, those people still have privileges associated with game-day ticket releases and other benefits... making sure you get information first about events and things like outdoor practices and wait-list customer practices."

 

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 22, 2014 C3

A Winnipeg Jets fan high-fives a city police officer directing traffic at Portage and Main Tuesday evening as the crowd emptied out of The Forks and gathered at the city's famous intersection.
Hundreds of NHL Hockey fans scream under the canopy at The Forks to celebrate their return. Steve Kaltchev (centre with black toque) celebrates with his friends and a plastic Stanley Cup at the Forks Tuesday afternoon.
Hundreds of NHL Hockey fans scream under the canopy at the Forks to celebrate their return.  Red man
Winnipeg hockey supporters rally at The Forks in Winnipeg on Tuesday after the announcement that an NHL team will be returning to the city after 15 years.
Katerina Moore (left) and her friend Alisha Long jump for joy after running into each other while celebrating at The Forks Tuesday afternoon.
NHL Hockey fans scream under the canopy at The Forks to celebrate the return of the NHL.
Chris Mackie (Thrashers jersey) and Phil Bonomo (Jets jersey) celebrate the return of the NHL to Winnipeg at the Forks Tuesday afternoon.
NHL comes back to Winnipeg - True North Sports and Entertainment announced they acquired the Atlanta Thrashers and are bringing the team back to Winnipeg. A large crowd cheers as the announcement was made by Mark Chipman via closed circuit tv near Portage and Main.
Katerina Moore celebrates at the Forks lifting high a plastic Stanley Cup with friends Tuesday afternoon.
(RUTH BONNEVILLE/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Hundreds of fans scream under the canopy at the Forks to celebrate the return of the NHL. (RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Mark Chipman of True North Sports and Entertainment LTD , right, is congratulated by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman after the announcement of the NHL return to Winnipeg- - May 31, 2011
Hockey fans gathered at Portage and Main to celebrate the return of the NHL to Winnipeg, MB.  (MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
NHL comes back to Winnipeg - Yes, that's Santa riding on a Harley wearing a Selanne Jets jersey down Main Street after the rally at the Forks.
(KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Cassidy Dankochik starts yelling
Jets fans Willow Parke (left) and Kaylee Allan scream for joy with painted
Hockey fans gathered at Portage and Main to celebrate the return of the NHL to Winnipeg, MB. Fans cheer as Dancing Gabe arrives at Portage and Main. (MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
NHL comes back to Winnipeg -  Fans gather at Portage and Main
(KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Hockey fans gathered at Portage and Main to celebrate the return of the NHL to Winnipeg, MB. (l-r) Mark Patton, Dana Judd, Damien Lemoine and Miguel Marcoux arrived early at Portage and Main for the party. (MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Mike Cuma celebrates at The Forks. (RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Fans go nuts at the Forks.
 (JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Fans, including Steve Kaltchev ( with cup), go nuts at the Forks the NHL announcement.
(JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Winnipeg hockey supporters rally at The Forks in Winnipeg, Tuesday May 31, 2011  after the announcement that an NHL team will be returning to the city after 15 years. (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg hockey supporters rally at The Forks in Winnipeg, Tuesday May 31, 2011  after the announcement that an NHL team will be returning to the city after 15 years. (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Winnipeg hockey supporters rally at The Forks in Winnipeg, Tuesday May 31, 2011  after the announcement that an NHL team will be returning to the city after 15 years. (DAVID LIPNOWSKI / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Paul and Kathy Vlamins celebrate with a Canadian flag at the Forks Tuesday afternoon.
(RUTH BONNEVILLE/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Jets fans scream under the canopy at the Forks to celebrate the return of the NHL.
Super fans Neal Einarson, left, and JP Jamieson  bring chairs from the old Wpg Arena to Portage and Main with dozens of hardcore Jet fans battling cool temps and high winds to celebrate the return of NHL hockey to Winnipeg.
NHL comes back to Winnipeg - Kristian Rents celebrates at Portage and Main.
NHL comes back to Winnipeg - kids from a St. James club brought their net and sticks to near Portage and Main just before the announcement was made.
NHL comes back to Winnipeg - fans  at Portage and main serenade transit bus rider
Mark Chipman of True North Sports and Entertainment LTD , right, with  NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, center, and David Thomson after the announcement of the  NHL is returning to Winnipeg. May 31, 2011
NHL comes back to Winnipeg - Portage and Main celebrations
Winnipeg hockey supporters get in on some street hockey action at The Forks early Tuesday May 31, 2011 prior to the True North Sports & Entertainment news conference  in Winnipeg, Man. on Tuesday May 30, 2011. The waiting is over for Winnipeg hockey fans.True North Sports and Entertainment has scheduled a news conference for noon ET at Winnipeg's MTS Centre to make
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 -  Hockey fans gathered at Portage and Main to celebrate the return of the NHL to Winnipeg. (MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Hockey fans gathered at Portage and Main to celebrate the return of the NHL to Winnipeg, MB. (MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Hockey fans gathered at Portage and Main to celebrate the return of the NHL to Winnipeg, MB. Mark Zwaagstra takes photos of the crowd watching the press conference on the Global big screen. (MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
Winnipeg hockey supporters pose with former Winnipeg Jet  and currect city councillor Thomas Steen at The Forks in Winnipeg, Tuesday May 31, 2011  after the announcement that an NHL team will be returning to the city after 15 years. 
(DAVID LIPNOWSKI / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Three-year-old Dylan Bridge and his brother Aiden,  6, dance around at the Forks Tuesday afternoon.
History

Updated on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 12:51 PM CDT: Adds sidebar

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