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NFL CANADA


Is Winnipeg a suitable NHL market?
Tue, March 30, 2010

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

There are a couple of big ifs involved, but signs suggest the NHL considers Winnipeg as a viable option for the relocation of the Phoenix Coyotes, should it come to that.

On Monday, a report surfaced in the Phoenix Business Journal stating the NHL is working on a backup plan to move the Coyotes to Winnipeg, should the current deal to sell the team to Ice Edge Holdings or a potential deal to Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf fall through.

Rumours of a potential return of the NHL to Winnipeg have been heating up for months, especially since it became known that Canadian billionaire David Thomson is a partner in True North Sports & Entertainment — who run the MTS Centre and own the AHL's Manitoba Moose.

The article in the Phoenix Business Journal cites two sources, with knowledge of the Coyotes finances and ownership, confirming the deal between the NHL and Thomson has been completed in principle and that the move could take place in time for the start of the 2010-11 season.

Do you think Winnipeg can step up and be a viable NHL market in the near future? Have your say in our forum

What if Coyotes don't stay in Phoenix?



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28 Comments

A full 15,500 seat arena is better than a half full 18,000 seat arena. Not to mention some teams pretty much have to give their tickets away.
###, 2010-03-30 16:09:17

Yes, Winnipeg is a suitable market. They are so ready for the NHL again. Better to sell out a 15,000 seat building than to have 14,000 paid tickets and give away 3,000 tickets every game like here in Ottawa.
Andy, 2010-03-30 15:21:40

Winnipeg will not support it long term. They will come out at the start but eventually more and more Winnipeggers will complain about ticket prices, cost of parking, food, player salaries, etc. This will happen very quickly if the team is not winning. Likely this information is leaked to the media to in an effort to influence the current negotiations.
cj789, 2010-03-30 15:07:29

Yep!!!!
Dan, 2010-03-30 14:25:21

I'm sure Mr. Chipman has done his financial homework. Winnipeg can afford the team and it won't be on the backs of the general fan. People forget that the Jets organization never received any of the off-ice revenue during the Jets era, from parking to concessions to concerts held there. With the cap and revenue sharing from the league as well as the organization this time around receiving all of the revenue generated from the arena, not simply what the W.E. wants to hand over from hockey games, this could be as Mr. Cherry pointed out, a model organization.
Greg, 2010-03-30 14:21:57

Simply put: The MTS Centre holds only 15,000 for a hockey game. Not nearly enough...case closed.
NoRoom, 2010-03-30 14:17:24

Winnipeg, Hamilton, Quebec City, Seattle, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Indianapolis would all be good choices to relocate Southern based teams
AC, 2010-03-30 14:10:36

Yes lets move the coyotes to hamilton AHAHAHAHAHAHA NOT!!!!! for those of you thinking there will be a great rivalry between the hamilton team and toronto sorry to disappoint you but hamilton would still be in the west conference and once a year get to play toronto. Winnipeg would be nice but it is also not going to happen winnipeg is still not big enough, all you have to do is look at ottawa who is having a hard time filling seats. If any team is going to move for reasons of not filling seats it is going to be atlanta unfortunately, and if they do they will go to QC. Filling seats is a problem for any sport in the states if you are not winning. NHL has a great product, sticking around in some of these markets showing the fans they are committed in the hard times is better for the overall health of the league then moving when things get tough. Everyone just needs to stop the rumour mill and realize that none of the teams are going anywhere soon and learn to enjoy it and live with it
mike, 2010-03-30 13:59:51

I find it annoying how TSN (the Toronto Sports Network) make Winnipeg sound like a hole in the earth..what makes Hamilton better.I have been to both cities...Hamilton even Ottawa cant hold a candle to Winnipeg..and this comes from a Calgarian...bring back the Winnipeg Jets..so we can have the Flames Jets rivalary again :)
Mike, 2010-03-30 13:42:55

I've been to many games back in the Jets era and if Winnipeg gets another chance at this then they better quit being 'band wagon' fans!! I've seen it first hand.....lots of support on certain game day matchups but if they're playinga non-exciting team then less than half the seats are filled. If, near the end of the regular season, they are not making the playoffs, the fans quit coming out. Winnipeg is a great hockey town when it comes to temporary events such as World Junior's but they have to support an NHL team game in game out regarless of the team's standing.
Good Luck With That, 2010-03-30 13:27:21

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