When it comes to tradition perhaps nothing is more important to a team then fan passion. There seems to be no shortage of it currently in Winnipeg and for that matter scattered around the world as we see people from over 80 different countries visiting our site on a daily basis. True North launched their campaign “Fueled by Passion” when the logos were released and that statement is extremely true.
If it was for the loyal Jets fans being passionate enough NHL hockey would have never returned to the city. Had Chipman and True North just been content with the AHL and didn’t have the passion to see NHL hockey back we’d still have the Moose. If there hadn’t been such passion to return the name Jets when the team did move then True North would have started something completely new.
Passion brought the Jets back to Winnipeg and it’ll be the driving force in keeping them here long term. Fueled by Passion is a great motto/slogin for the Jets because if fans were to lose their passion and stop going to games, stop spending money on merchandise then this team would be no better off then it was in Atlanta.
Sure season tickets are sold out for the next 3 years but what will happen after that, will those people renew their seats or move aside and will all those people on the waiting list follow thru when their time comes up in the next 3-6 years or will they have to wait even longer? The demand has to always out weigh the supply for this teams long term success and as far as being set up for success True North has done everything to ensure that this team will be here for as long as the NHL is around.
That being said if it isn’t we won’t have anyone else to blame this time and we won’t get a third chance at it. There’s no Winnipeg Enterprises sucking the arena revenue dry before the owners get any. There’s no aging arena, no crashing Canadian dollar and the salaries are regulated by a salary cap that keeps them from soaring too high for our market.
The fate rests on one thing in Winnipeg, the Passion of the fans. Which is what makes Fueled by Passion so appropriate. If this team doesn’t develop into a contender and struggles as the old Jets do the passion must remain. If this team has to trade away a fan favorite the passion must remain. No matter what happens the passion must remain.
Thankfully for Winnipeg the passion for hockey has always been there.
I was in Winnipeg for the last game in 1996 and the passion was evident even to me as a 14 year old boy. I was in Winnipeg for the World Juniors in 1999 and I was in Fargo for the World Juniors in 2004 when Winnipeg overtook the city and made Canada feel at home.
I’ve been at exhibition games in Winnipeg, I’ve been at NHL games in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Buffalo and I was not the only one wearing a Jets jersey at those games. I’ve travelled to Mexico and Europe and worn my Jets jersey and had people know what it was. We launched this site and it crashed within 2 days because we used up all the bandwidth we had allotted the site and had to get more.
There is no shortage of “fuel” for the Winnipeg Jets and that is one tradition I can’t see changing anytime now or in the future. Detroit may be hockey town but Winnipeg is the centre of Canada and Canada is the Hockey Nation so that makes Winnipeg Hockey Nation Central.