Monday, June 06, 2011

Did it in some Manitoba minutes

The NHL may very well in some southern circles be viewing the idea of coming back to Winnipeg with tempered enthusiasm (if not resigned horror), the southern branch of the firm featuring a sense that the prairie city isn't quite the big time of the southern footprint.

But for those below the 49th that have (should be had by now) their doubts, the fans, those that pay the price for a sport that rewards its players handsomely, have spoken loud and clear, and in Winnipeg money talks in volume it seems.

Challenged to a degree by a Commissioner who despite his talking points of last week as to options,  has seemingly run out of viable relocation sites in the US, the Winnipeg fan base rose as one (well less the scalper, er secondary market as they now prefer to be called, see here and here)  and secured their 13,000 reserved spots at the MTS Centre in record time.

With the Moose ticket holders of the AHL allowed their first picks to a total of some 8,000 plus, the remainder of the available seats were opened up to the general public on Saturday, an opening which took all of two minutes to fill and fifteen minutes to process before the Sorry Sold Out sign was ready for installation.

An indication as to the hunger of the Manitoba sports fan to welcome home the NHL to their city, and to just reinforce the point for the Commissioner and the southern shareholders, another 8,000 paid fifty dollars and put their name on the list for any openings that may come down the line in the future.

We're not sure what the "official" number of season ticket holders was last season in Atlanta, but on those rare occasions when a Thrashers highlight was shown on television, it seemed that there was a much greater number of fans that seemingly were disguised as empty seats in Phillips Arena.

The best response however to the outpouring of support that the Winnipeg team has received thus far goes to an anonymous poster on the Winnipeg free Press site over the weekend, with but a simple statement that more than outlines the gulf in interest between Winnipeg and a good number of American cities when it comes to off ice success.

His/Her question, simply asked was, how's the season ticket campaign going in Phoenix today... silence as they say is golden and on that file the NHL is mysteriously quiet.

With Saturday's success, when it comes to the concerns over the Winnipeg file the case  is now closed, the defence rests...

Winnipeg Free Press-- Season ticket list capped at 8,00 following 17 minute sellout
Winnipeg Free Press-- Gone in 17 minutes
Winnipeg Sun-- We've proven city belongs in big leagues
Winnipeg Sun-- NHL the hottest ticket in town
Winnipeg Sun-- Winnipeg hockey sell out a slam dunk
Winnipeg Sun-- Tickets will be hard to come by 
Globe and Mail-- Winnipeg hockey fans buy up 13,000 season seats
Globe and Mail-- Ticket drive means big money for NHL in Winnipeg
National Post-- Winnipeg's NHL return a boon for the secondary market
CBC-- Scalpers hawk Winnipeg tickets

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