The new Winnipeg hockey team fulfilled its “Drive to 13,000″ campaign in only 17 minutes by selling 13,000 season tickets Saturday. Additionally, the waiting list for tickets was capped at 8,000 a few hours later. Not too bad for an arena that has a capacity of around 15,000.
The announcement comes shortly after True North Sports purchased the Atlanta Thrashers with the intent of moving the franchise to Winnipeg, filling a void left when the Winnipeg Jets moved to Phoenix in 1996. Season tickets were made available to Manitoba Moose season ticket holders on a pre-sale basis, and the supporters of the AHL team were obviously excited to watch an NHL team.
Though the evident excitement for the new team is impressive, it’s important to keep in mind this is how things are for many teams when they start out. How will things be in Winnipeg in five or 10 years is the question.
As for the team’s name, though many fans would would like them to be re-named the Winnipeg Jets, there is one obstacle. Teams are businesses, and part of being a business is selling merchandise. If they retain the old franchise’s name, they won’t be maximizing merchandise sales. Hopefully they go with tradition over slightly more revenue.Google+