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This article was published 31/8/2015 (2050 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
True North Sports & Entertainment is about to break ground on a $7.5-million expansion of the MTS Iceplex.
Work on the 21,000-square-foot addition to the four-sheet ice facility on the west edge of the city will begin in a matter of days and is expected to be complete next summer, in time for the 2016-17 hockey season.
The new facilities on the east side of the complex will include new dressing rooms, training and medical areas and storage for both the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets and AHL’s Manitoba Moose.
Currently at the Iceplex, the Jets occupy a 1,110-square-foot dressing room, and when the team practises there, it also takes over several other public-use dressing rooms for part of the day.
The new space will also include offices for Moose hockey staff as well as the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Academy.
The entire project is being paid for by the Jets’ ownership.
"We’ll be digging in the ground here shortly but from a long-term perspective, to have this, knowing this is going to be the home where the teams can practise and operate in a normal fashion and not have any scheduling conflicts or issues, that’ll be great," Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said at this morning’s announcement at the Iceplex.
"Plus the ice out here is fantastic. The facility that’s in place now is a top-notch facility. From that standpoint, we’re just enhancing something that is very good right now."
Cheveldayoff was also selling the project as further confirmation that True North is serious about keeping the AHL’s Moose in Winnipeg for the long term.
When it was announced in the spring that the Moose were relocating back to the Manitoba capital from St. John’s, N.L., where they had been for four years, some uncertainty was still in the air.
That’s because True North had been looking for some city closer to home for its AHL team and eventually decided Winnipeg was a good solution, at least for the short term.
The long-term plan wasn’t talked about much, or vaguely at best.
"What it really does is cements in the minds of anybody that wasn’t cemented before that the Manitoba Moose are here for a period of time, and indefinite period of time," Cheveldayoff said. "With the investment that’s being made here today, those questions are being answered. You don’t make an investment of this magnitude if you don’t plan on being here for many, many years to come.
"We are committed to making this work as a long-term situation and having the opportunity to have our development situation under one roof with the Jets, training side-by-side at a wonderful facility here at the MTS Iceplex is something that many, many teams can only dream of."
The project is the latest initiative by True North to upgrade and update its facilities.
The Jets’ ownership has invested in several upgrades this summer to the MTS Centre, the home arena for both the Jets and Moose, that include a new scoreclock and video screens, renovated suites, the addition of about 250 loge seats in the arena bowl and a new home-team dressing room and facility for the Moose.