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12-03-2012, 08:03 PM
Holden Caulfield
The Eternal Skeptic
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Country: Canada
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Originally Posted by mzappa View Post

While Winnipeg has a population base of only ~750,000, the actual hockey market is larger than Florida, TB, PHX, etc.

Season tickets (~13,000) are sold out for the next 3-5 years (on contract) with a 8000 person wait-list (capped).

Everyone around the city wears Jets gear, the Jets special edition licence plates are soldout (10,000+), and there was near rioting vs SHAW TV last year when the TSN Jets channel wasn't broadcasting the first period of the Penguins home game.

That's a "big" hockey market to me.
Near rioting? That's more than a bit of an exaggeration.

Despite all these factors, Winnipeg was still only ~10th in league revenue. And that was with quite a sizable boost from it being the first year (merchandising, etc). Doesn't matter what Winnipeg does, they at best a mid-market team. Same goes with EDM, IMO. Right now Winnipeg is not a small market team but they could be depending on how things progress. They will always be a small to mid market team, at best, the potential is just not there for large growth like, well, almost every other city in the NHL.

The amazing thing is, unlike even an EDM, who has Leduc, Spruce Grove, Sherwood Park, St. Albert, Fort Saskatechewan all within a 15 minute drive from the city (not sure if they are included in the 1.2 list pop above), Winnipeg has none of that. We have Selkirk, East St. Paul, St. Malo. All three of which combined don't add up to any one of the surrounding communities from EDM. (And remember EDM is mid-market as well). Doesn't matter how you draw up the lines for population (for example, Toronto would be much higher if calculated like US populations), or population is what's in the city. That's it. Not to mention that traditionally, as the "gateway to the west" city, Winnipeg has housed tons of corporations, particularly western headquarters. That is now shifting to the Calgary more and more. Theres still lots here, but it just adds up to just no potential beyond where the Jets are at now.

It's nothing against the Jets, there's nothing wrong with being mid to small market team. Somebody has to be there. Winnipeg is a fine hockey market and will be around for foreseeable future. But to paint us as a "big" hockey market, or to suggest we could get there, is just plain wrong, IMO.

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