Friday’s Jets bash to be bigger, better

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If the whiteout street party hits maximum capacity when the Winnipeg Jets host the Minnesota Wild for Game 5 of their first-round playoff series Friday, almost as many people will be watching outside the arena as seated in it.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/04/2018 (1577 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

If the whiteout street party hits maximum capacity when the Winnipeg Jets host the Minnesota Wild for Game 5 of their first-round playoff series Friday, almost as many people will be watching outside the arena as seated in it.

Organizers say they’re expecting as many as 15,000 Jets fans to congregate outside Bell MTS Place Friday for the third whiteout party.

“We are again expanding to accommodate what we expect will be even bigger crowds on Friday. We’ve had such amazing feedback about the street party. Everyone’s been excited,” said Dayna Spiring, CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg (EDW).

Google earth / Winnipeg Free Press Friday's Whiteout street party will be expanded to include Graham Avenue between Hargrave Street and Smith Street, and Donald Street from Portage Avenue to St. Mary Avenue. Start time for the party is 4:30 p.m.

“We continue to tweak as we’ve done every single game…and we’re continually looking at ways to improve. Winnipeggers are just happy to be out there and we’re happy to be celebrating.”The parties are being organized by EDW and True North Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Winnipeg Jets and the arena, for every Jets home playoff game this year.

The first Winnipeg whiteout street party reached a maximum capacity of 5,500 people. Following the success of the first, the venue was expanded for Game 2, which saw roughly 9,000 fans turn out to watch the action.

Friday will see the venue expanded yet again, allowing up to 15,000 fans to watch the game in the streets outside the arena, nearly matching the roughly 16,000-seat capacity of the arena.

MIKAELA MACKENZIE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS The crowd at the Jets whiteout party on Donald Street in Winnipeg last Wednesday. This Friday's street party is expected to be even larger and attract even more hockey fans than either of the events last week during the Jets two playoff games.

The Jets lead the Wild 3-1 in the best-of-seven series. Given it’s an elimination game and warmer weather is expected, organizers felt compelled to expand the venue again, adding a big-screen TV, and more food vendors and portable toilets. The Millennium Library park will again host a family-friendly, alcohol-free zone.

“We put more bathrooms, food stations, some of those things to accommodate more people and we’re continually looking at ways to improve. We’re flying by the seat of our pants a little bit in terms of how fast we’re having to move and the thousands and thousands of Winnipeggers who want to be a part of this,” Spiring said.

“We’ve said all along that this street party has exceeded our expectations. It did in Game 1, it did in Game 2, and we expect Friday night it’s going to do it again.”

The party will start at 4:30 p.m., with puck-drop for the game set for 6:30 p.m. If the Jets win, they will move on to Round 2 of the Western Conference NHL playoffs.

To accommodate the party, the city will close southbound Donald Street from Portage to St. Mary avenues from 10 a.m. Friday until 1 a.m. Saturday.

Transit buses will be rerouted from Graham Avenue between Carlton Street to Smith Street beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Ryan Thorpe

Ryan Thorpe
Reporter

Ryan Thorpe likes the pace of daily news, the feeling of a broadsheet in his hands and the stress of never-ending deadlines hanging over his head.

History

Updated on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 9:13 PM CDT: Adds map

Updated on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 10:20 PM CDT: Adds info to photo caption.

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