Could the Jets fly home? -

Could the Jets fly home?

Heir to Thomson empire reportedly backs purchase offer for the Phoenix Coyotes


Hope that Winnipeg could win back its NHL franchise gained new life today, as a deal to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix appears to be unravelling. According to an report, if the proposed sale of the club to Chicago money man Jerry Reinsdorf falls through, the league has a purchase offer waiting to sell the team to a group back-stopped by Canadian billionaire David Thomson. Thomson—the scion behind the Thomson Reuters business information empire—would then move the team back to Winnipeg, from whence it arrived in Phoenix back in 1995, says the U.S. sports site. In the meantime, a group of investors known as Ice Edge Holdings is negotiating with the city of Glendale, Ariz., in hopes of completing a lease agreement that would allow Ice Edge to buy the team. Ice Edge’s investors, which include Canadian businessmen based in the U.S., have previously said they would seek to play several home games a season at a Canadian location such as Saskatoon.


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Could the Jets fly home?

  1. I have faith that "Buttman" AKA the "Poison Dwarf" AKA the "Tiny Little Commissioner" will find a way to screw over Winnipeg again. Frankly, he can't let the team move or he and the NHL will face an enormous law suit from the previous owner.

  2. Not happening anytime soon.

  3. The Canadian dollar is at or near par with the U.S. greenback, so NHL salaries are pretty much interchangeable across the border, without penalty for the Canadian teams;
    A full Winnipeg arena that doesn't quite hold an NHL average-sized crowd will still earn more gate receipts than the Coyotes' near-empty playpen in the desert of Glendale.
    The Winnipeg Jets may not have been viable under the old NHL economy, but they will do OK under the circumstances of 2010 and I suspect they will be able to make a decent of it until the city can get a proper NHL rink built.
    At minimum, the Canadian city will do miles better than the ill-placed team in the American southwest desert.

  4. Let's hope so!

  5. Ummm unless the city or the owners wish to build a new arena or expand it this won't happen. I doubt the city would fund another arena anytime soon seeing as its relatively new as well the city is building the new blue bomber stadium.

    • what's wrong with the MTS centre?

      • It's awfully small by NHL standards. Just over 15,000. If it was an NHL arena, it would be the smallest by over 1,000. Nassau Coliseum on Long Island has a capacity of 16,234 and Rexall Place in Edmonton has a capacity of 16,839, and they're both considered small these days.

        In fact, MTS Centre has a lower capacity than the old Winnipeg Arena did.

        • Small by NHL standards only in capacity. How many games did the Coyotes get more than 5000 fans at? That would still leave the place 2/3 empty. If Winnipeg had the attendance for a larger arena maybe the Jets would still be there, truth is they couldn't half fill the place with the top half curtained off. Besides if there is enough of a demand that 15,000 fans start showing up at each game they will raise the ticket price. Supply and demand.

          • I don't know what you're talking about. I attended Jets games regularly from 1972 to 1996. Never once was the "top half curtained off". If you look at the statistics, Winnipeg was always in the middle of the league in attendance. Considering that Winnipeg was always one of the smallest NHL cities in population, that was pretty good. The MTS Centre may be small, but I'm sure that Winnipeg's average game attendance will still be greater than half the league.

          • "Small by NHL standards only in capacity", right, and what did you think we were talking about?

            "Besides if there is enough of a demand that 15,000 fans start showing up at each game they will raise the ticket price." Thats a BIG if given Winnipeg's attendance records for the Winnipeg Jets,

        • However teams like Tampa, Atlanta, Nashville, NYI, New Jersey, Blue Jackets maybe able to hold more however many remain empty. 15000 + seats filled generates other revenue not just in tickets sales there is also 46 suites, 2private party suites that holds close to 100 more ppl Big enough for David to have Jim B for tea.

    • Most of the teams in the NHL can't get that many people to games, and that's with freebee ticket giveaways (buy groceries and get hockey tickets!).

      Winnipeg wouldn't need the giveaways, they'd have 15,000 paying customers. Any team put in Canada with the dollar at par is pretty much automatically in the middle of the pack or better for revenue.

      In fact that's the NHL"s real concern. If Winnipeg returns and starts making money, it'll raise the league's average revenue. That will raise the salary cap, and thus the salary floor. That minimum salary going up will further hurt already weak American teams who can't afford to pay it.

  6. The Jets left in '96, not '95

  7. The New Winnipeg Arena is suitable for an NHL team. They have many luxury boxes and will do better than Phoenix did , who were lucky to attract 5000 paying fans per game. Phoenix gave away many many tickets. I hope they come back to Winnipeg

  8. Until they actually play a game in Winnipeg, I'm not going to hold my breath on the return of the Jets. There is always talk of moving teams, and they rarely do. Four years ago it was a done deal that Pittsburgh was moving to Kansas City or somewhere like that. At the last second, something gets figured out.

    The League doesn't want to admit defeat that hockey doesn't work in a market they thought it would, so they will continue to prop up the team, despite it's obvious failure.

    • Not so sure I agree. Bettman may not want to admit defeat, but the handful of owners who are losing money and missing the playoffs this year are not going to want to keep bailing out a franchise with their own dollars as they did in 2009-10 in Phoenix. They'll force a move or a fire sale rather than keep the status quo.

  9. I have some insider information that you should start placing some big money on the jets going back to Winnipeg. This Thomson guy is good buddies with bettman, who wouldn't want to be buddies with this rich Man. Anyways this guy owns the MTS Center and kept in the back of his mind that he could possibly expand seating somehow when he built it. Also he could afford some big name players and keep the jets in winnipeg if nobody comes to the games. If my sources are right it's a done deal. This is just a discussion though