Jets return: A day to remember forever

Fans celebrate at The Forks on Tuesday, May 31, 2011, the day True North announced that the Atlanta...

Fans celebrate at The Forks on Tuesday, May 31, 2011, the day True North announced that the Atlanta Thrashers were coming to Winnipeg. (MARCEL CRETAIN/QMI AGENCY)

TED WYMAN, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 9:36 PM ET

At 3 a.m., on May 31, 2011, I was laying awake awaiting word about one of the biggest stories in Winnipeg’s history, news which was developing in Atlanta, New York and the unending world of cyberspace.

I finally drifted off to sleep but bolted awake at 6 a.m., as the first of about a thousand e-mail alerts sounded on my Blackberry.

It was the news hundreds of thousands of Manitobans had been waiting for. What once seemed a wild fantasy was actually happening — there would be a press conference that very day to announce the return of the NHL to Winnipeg after 15 seasons.

I jumped up and started typing and never stopped until about midnight. That’s what happens when you are covering the biggest story of your life, spreading the word about something that means so much to so many people.

With a memorable press conference slated for later that morning at MTS Centre, I headed downtown early to experience the excitement and energy on the streets and at the Forks, where thousands were gathering to watch the announcement on a big screen.

It was so incredible to see the residents of our city walking around with such pride and unbridled joy. You could tell it was a day they will never forget.

Later, as I sat in a cramped room at MTS Centre while Mark Chipman, David Thomson and Gary Bettman made the official announcement, you could almost feel a collective chill of excitement pulsing through the city.

What a day it was.

One of Winnipeg’s greatest.

One year ago today.

Enjoy the memories.


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