Bring Back the Winnipeg Jets
This is not in my words but written by Darren Ford of Winnipeg. You can find all of this information on his website at http://jetsowner.com
Mr. Ford is trying desparately to get an NHL team back in Winnipeg. Being from Winnipeg, I sincerely hope that he succeeds.“With the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) due to expire in 2004, we are prepared to see major changes to an NHL in big trouble. The sport has been butchered beyond belief. This is an issue that needs no elaboration as we are well aware of its current state. This site (www.jetsowner.com) is not designed to create hours of reading for you nor is it set out to rant about political issues and complain about Gary Bettman. It’s purpose is to find the way around these conditions and how to successfully return the Jets to Winnipeg. Many of us are very emotionally driven with regards to this topic. As Canadians, we feel ripped off. And we should. However, what’s done is done and we must focus our time and energy on getting a team back rather than whining about how the NHL and Barry Shenkarow turned on us. The NHL will come crawling back one day soon, begging for a market that will support hockey at all let alone somewhat. It sounds corny but it is not far-fetched. Minneapolis did it. They averaged 8,000 fans a game and lost their team. Now they have it back and sell-out nearly every game.
The support from other Canadian NHL cities will be there too. Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa would love nothing more than to see hockey in Winnipeg again. It creates a rival again, it gives them another layer of security and it reflects a promising future for the state of their teams.
The NHL is seeing the lowest TV ratings in years, falling attendances in most of their American cities and salaries that are out of control. Denver, Detroit and Dallas do well. I should hope so. They have owned the Stanley Cup for a decade. The Phoenix Coyotes are averaging 1200 fans less than our worst attended season in Winnipeg. They are now building them a larger arena. They are supposed to fill 19,000 seats every game now?!? Bill Guerin makes $9.5 million a season. The sport cannot sustain this kind of paycheck for any player of any caliber. I have never seen anything so backwards.
Where is Wayne Gretzky to bring his team (ironically the Jets of old) back to Winnipeg where he, of all people, knows it will have the support and could rally big money in a heartbeat? Where is Mario Lemieux? Does he honestly think he will do any worse in Winnipeg than in Pittsburgh? Does Atlanta really love the Thrashers or do they prefer the Falcons and Braves? Does Columbus really exist or did I have a bad dream? Nashville…need I say any more there. How did these teams end up in these places. Did someone honestly believe it would be easier to succeed in Raleigh than in Hartford or Winnipeg? Absolutely no offense to these cities but how would they feel if Winnipeg took their football teams away from them only to struggle even more thereafter?
Build a huge arena here and we will compare notes with these other cities in a couple of years.”