Friday, February 19, 2010
Thrashers To Winnipeg: Friday Update
Some new blah-blah has come out on any kind of a move of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg... ((or any other franchise to Winnipeg for that matter))
Let's retrace some steps and fill in some possible holes...
4/12/09- Winnipeg Free Press/Paul Wiecek
Gary Bettman at the Global Summit...
"While we play to 93 to 94 per cent capacity, we'd like to play to 100 per cent capacity," Bettman said. "A 15,000-16,000 seat arena might work better in some markets than a 19,000-seat arena."
A 15,000- to 16,000-seat arena? Funny thing -- Winnipeg just happens to have one of those sitting on Portage Avenue, a shiny new building with loads of luxury boxes and precisely 15,002 seats for hockey.
Actually, the HQ thought it was 15,015...
Word of mouth stuff in Winnipeg that has no real verifiable source...
- the Moose have canceled orders for all new Moose merchandise
- contractors were reported to be at MTS Centre looking into possible expansion
- an employee apparently in the know reports that the MTS Centre was NOT made to be expanded and that the easiest way would be to add boxes at the top as Boston has done
- an employee at MTS Centre said that 41 new dates were booked for the MTS Centre
- a new state of the art 4 rink hockey training, development and practice facility,currently under construction is said to be being built because True North was told by the NHL that for a team to work in Winnipeg the city would need a practice facility for the home & away teams to use.
The HQ thinks that's an interesting point in the last bullet, considering that Chipman just recently vested himself of his lending business for C$130M.
Thursday's Toronto Sun/Chris Stevenson-QMI on the Phoenix situation...
When asked if Ice/Edge was working on financing or trying to recruit more owners into the group, Daly replied:
“There are a couple of things that are more specific I can’t go into … the structure of the transaction needs to be defined a little more. I know they’re working hard and they’ve made some progress.”
While rumours of a transfer of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg have sprung up this week (without much foundation, apparently), don’t discount Winnipeg coming up as a possible destination if the Phoenix deal falls apart and a relocation scenario needs to be considered.
Although, Ice Edge has made it clear, already, that Saskatoon is an outlet for a handful of home regular-season and playoff games to offset any lack of attendance in Glendale. Whether that was negotiated as part of the new lease deal is currently unclear...
The Globe and Mail's James Mirtle thinks it may be an give-and-go with Phoenix through his Twitter account: That Winnipeg rumour is everywhere lately for some reason... if anything, a non-sale in Phoenix could lead there perhaps
So, now our weekend supposition deals with two possible franchises in a match race to Winnipeg. Notice that Kansas City has been left out of the discussion for relocation for the Thrashers and Coyotes- the Islanders have been left out of the talk of other markets.
The dance continues...