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Canadian Team Forced to Relocate Imminently? The End of the Winnipeg Jets Appears to Be Inevitable

Published February 24, 2024 at 8:53 PM

Despite an excellent 2023-2024 season, the Winnipeg Jets are not drawing crowds.

Since their return in 2011, the Manitoba team has faced difficulties at the box office, with an average attendance this season of only 13,098 spectators, which is the second worst in the NHL behind the Arizona Coyotes, who play in a 4,600-seat arena, I remind you.

It is also worth noting that the Jets' season ticket subscriptions have dropped from about 13,000 to about 9,500 over the past three seasons.

In a recent interview for *The Athletic*, Mark Chipman, the president of True North Sports & Entertainment, discussed his team's current situation and sent a clear message to the Jets' supporters.

"I wouldn't be honest with you if I didn't say: 'We need to get back to 13,000.' The situation we are in right now doesn't work in the long term."

Moreover, according to Chipman, the NHL is closely monitoring the situation.

"They see the numbers. They see where the league is and where we are. We are an exception at the moment. So, rightly, they want to know what we are doing? What's happening? What happened and what are we doing about it?"

Could the Jets suffer the same fate as the original version of the team, which left Winnipeg for Arizona in 1996?

Let's say that this idea is not an option at the moment, and Chipman had mentioned it during an interview with CBC a few months ago.

"Because it happened once, is there a concern it could happen again because we are the smallest market [in the NHL]? I would say: Not on our watch."

Even though a relocation of the Jets is still unlikely, this situation could nevertheless harm the potential return of the Nordiques to Quebec, as the Jets also operate in a small Canadian market.

And for Gary Bettman, unless it's about representing a large American city, one could say that patience is shorter.

Unless Gary is more comfortable with the idea of bringing back the Nordiques if the team already comes from another small Canadian market?

February 24   |   682 answers
Canadian Team Forced to Relocate Imminently? The End of the Winnipeg Jets Appears to Be Inevitable

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