The MTS Centre is the newest NHL arena in Canada and yet concerns will be brought up about its size and ability to support the Jets long term. The arena currently sits just north of 15,000 which makes it the smallest arena in the NHL as well.
What True North will do moving forward is anyone’s guess at this point and in this our final article in our Tradition vs Future series we’ll make our best guess to say what we think will happen.
When the Moose played in the MTS Centre the upper deck was rarely open, so we know that when they built the rink to this size Mark Chipman and True North felt it was big enough for NHL hockey in Winnipeg. While one could argue they could have sold enough season tickets to sell out a rink double its size. With a wait list capped at 8,000 that certainly appears true but what would happen when the novelty of having an NHL team wears off and those three year commitments run out. It’s unlikely that all those people would renew their tickets and one thing any good businessman or women would tell you. It’s always better when the demand outweighs the available supply and with a smaller rink it almost guarantees that a Jets ticket will always be a hot commodity no matter what team is in town.
For that reason we can’t see any major changes being done to increase the capacity of the MTS Centre in the near future, however if in 10-15 years if there is still a waiting list of 8,000 for season tickets it’s not a stretch to see them either expand MTS Centre or build a new rink altogether. With the money they have in the ownership group and if they got to that point the value of the franchise, it wouldn’t be like in the 90′s when the previous Jets were trying to finance a new home.
For now though and the future of the next 10-15 years we don’t expect any drastic changes to the MTS Centre to increase capacity so when you get a chance to go to a game make sure you take it because Jets tickets are going to be hard to come by for many years to come and that is a good thing for the franchise but tough for the fans that missed out on season tickets. My guess is Stub Hub is gonna be a very busy site in Winnipeg for sometime to come.