April 15, 2011
Katz says he’ll buy NHL season tickets
By ROSS ROMANIUK, QMI Agency
Winnipeg’s potential new NHL team has a firm commitment of cash from Mayor Sam Katz for season tickets.
“I can only tell you this — I am ready to purchase my season tickets,” Katz told reporters Friday, as speculation grew that True North Sports and Entertainment is soon to ask for such purchase commitments from would-be buyers for a minimum of three seasons.
The mayor added that “there’s no doubt in my mind that Winnipeggers and Manitobans will support an NHL franchise. All you have to do is tell them that we have a franchise, let them know that, and I’m sure you’ll see them buying season tickets. I’d like to be the first in line, if possible.”
If True North — the likely owner of any new Winnipeg NHL franchise — proceeds in the coming days with a call for season ticket commitments, Katz said, “it will be very successful.”
Katz suggested that he knows no more than the general public about possible talks between True North and the NHL toward a possible local purchase of the financially troubled Phoenix Coyotes franchise, which was the Winnipeg Jets before leaving Manitoba for Arizona in 1996.
As for a name for any new Winnipeg big-league hockey club, Katz said he’ll “throw one in” if a team-naming contest is held.
He didn’t reveal what his suggested name would be.
“There’s no doubt that people do love the old name, the Jets — there’s no question about that,” Katz said.
“But in the end, if you have a new franchise, it’s up to the ownership to decide.”