Since everyone else is talking about it, I thought I should too.

Hey, did you hear we might be getting an NHL team? I assume, that unless you are living under a rock, you have. I’ve gotta say, I’m actually kind of excited. I’m not the biggest hockey fan in the world, but when I was a kid I always loved going to Jets games and I imagine it’s the same for a lot of people. There is a certain attraction hockey has for the average Canadian that manages to incite national pride like no other sport. Look at what happened during the Olympics; they had to shut down Portage Avenue when Team Canada won. If NHL teams were handed out based on sheer enthusiasm alone, we’d have had a team ages ago.

Of course we’ve heard it all before haven’t we? When Hugh McFadyen made it part of his provincial election campaign a few years ago, just the notion of something so absurd sunk him. When Sam Katz said on the radio last week that 100 per cent Winnipeg will have an NHL team within three years, my jaw hit the proverbial steering wheel. Not again, I thought. Except, unless my ears doth deceive me, it seems the conversation is a little different than it’s been in the past. It seems more possible somehow. That could simply be a result of the collective will of an entire city, but nonetheless, the fruit is dangling there, waiting to be snatched up.

I must admit that my excitement for an NHL team is definitely selfish. While bringing back the Jets would definitely put Winnipeg on the map, I can’t help but feel giddy at what it would do for downtown. I get goosebumps just thinking of it. Imagine the Jets in the Stanley Cup final and thousands of people milling along Portage Avenue cheering on their team. Imagine how hot a commodity living in the new Avenue Building will be, sitting right across the street from the Winnipeg Jets. People who never, ever come downtown would come to see them play–and they might even not complain about parking.

They’d have to be called the Jets, otherwise I predict rioting in the streets. And after all, this is still Winnipeg, and we don’t want to have to buy new jerseys with a new team name on them. (I’m kidding people who stand to make (or lose) money on this, people will buy new jerseys. I promise.)

The possibilities seem endless. It could mean so much for our city, for our spirit and of course, our downtown. With the Human Rights Museum completed and an NHL team in tow, there really will be a reason for people to visit Winnipeg. And not just people who use to live here, but that elusive foreign visitor. Maybe even one from across the ocean. (A girl can dream, can’t she?)

I know I won’t be the only one waiting to see the outcome of the Glendale city council meeting tonight. Perhaps the future is starting to look blue, red and white…

9 thoughts on “Jets?

  1. Sorry to say this, but the Jets will never come back. It’s all economics and not heart. Surely you can see that? Winnipeg doesn’t have the population to support an NHL franchise. It’s time to stop this wistful longing and get on with your lives!

  2. Richard K, Winnipeg needs less people like you. Winnipeg absolutely has the population to support an NHL team. Always has, always will. (The Jets left because we didn’t build a proper arena). You don’t even sound like a hockey fan, so I’m wondering why you’re even giving your (uneducated) opinion on this matter.

    An NHL franchise at the MTS Centre is the ONLY way to properly revitalize downtown Winnipeg. 15,500 ADULTS (not 6,000 kids & families like at Moose games) 45 nights a year (reg. season + exhib. + possible playoffs) will do WONDERS for downtown, trust me! I’ve seen firsthand what an NHL team located downtown does for St. Paul, Minnesota.

  3. I was at the new 4Play Sports Bar last night watching the Habs vs the Pens and the place was rocking. That kind of excitement and turnout… And it wasn’t even for OUR OWN team! My friends and I were sitting there thinking how exciting and busy downtown would be for EACH and EVERY Jets game. The MTS Centre has done a decent job somewhat energizing downtown, but a professional sports team would bring it to a whole other level. If a city like Green Bay, Wisconsin can support an NFL team… We can support our own version of the same. Tickets will be sold, companies will be clammoring for suites and the team will win some and (if our history is any indication) lose more, but there’s nothing like cheering your own team when they’re up and weeping like a baby when they’re down.

    Yes Downtown Peggy… It is that Daniel.

  4. As much as I would love to see the Jets come back to this fine city, I don’t think it will happen neither. Call it being negative but I prefer to call it being realistic.

    And, it’s not because I don’t think we can support the team. It’s because I don’t think the NHL thinks we can support the team; and, that’s the important thing.

    However, IF they were to return, I will be the first one in line for season tix!!

  5. In the short term, the Jets won’t be back but you can’t say anything about the long term unless you have a magic crystal ball that tells the future.

    There is always a possibility. Policies change, sports management changes, bureaucracy changes. You got to have hope sometimes.

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