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This article was published 4/6/2011 (3360 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Hockey fans in this province have spoken loudly and clearly with their hearts. And now -- most importantly for Winnipeg’s new NHL franchise – they’ve stepped up with their wallets.
True North Sports and Entertainment’s ‘Drive to 13,000’ season-ticket campaign lasted less than 72 hours as the last tickets were claimed within 17 minutes of Saturday’s noon opening to the general public. By shortly after 2 p.m., a ticket waiting list had been capped at 8,000 people.
The pre-sale set aside exclusively for Manitoba Moose season-ticket and mini-pack holders and corporate sponsors reached 7,158 by Friday afternoon with the remaining 5,842 commitments gobbled up quickly not long after the on-line window opened.
"It’s a testament to everybody in the city and we owe a lot to our fans in the city, this province and across Canada because we had people buying from across Canada," said Jim Ludlow, President & CEO, True North Sports & Entertainment.
"It’s a very, very powerful message that goes out throughout North America to 29 other NHL cities. (Commissioner) Gary Bettman has issued a statement as to the power of this marketplace.
"Many of us are beyond words to explain what’s happened in the past three or four days. This was one of the most anticipated on-sales that we’ve had in our history in Winnipeg so we did have a sense Winnipeggers would push through this very, very quickly."
"While I had no doubt the 'Drive to 13,000' would reach its destination, the remarkable speed at which it got there certifies the fans' hunger for NHL hockey and their commitment to True North's initiatives," wrote NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in an e-mail to The Free Press.
Season-ticket commitments, made through the www.driveto13.com website and requiring $500 to 1,000 deposits for commitments of three, four or five years, were capped at 13,000. That will leave fewer than 1,000 tickets available on a per game basis to the general public as the luxury boxes take an additional 1,000 seats while the NHL requires a few hundred seats be set aside for players and their families as well as league executives.
True North announced Saturday they would also be starting an official ‘membership only’ based waiting list for tickets. The waiting list, capped by mid-afternoon, features the following:
Membership on the waiting list entails:
Reaching the 13,000 threshold gives True North both a degree of financial certainty in the first five years of the franchise, but, in the immediate future, essentially means the NHL’s Board of Governors will rubber stamp the franchise relocation from Atlanta when they gather for meetings on June 21 in New York.
Updated on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at 11:47 AM CDT: updated with P2 sell-out
12:29 PM: updated with full sell-out
2:23 PM: updated with capped waiting list
3:40 PM: Updated comment from Jim Ludlow
5:08 PM: Added video
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