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Ice Hockey

Up to date as of February 02, 2010

An Ice Hockey Wiki article.

MTS Centre
Location 300 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3C 5S4
Broke ground April 2003
Opened November 16, 2004
Owner True North Sports & Entertainment Limited
Operator True North Sports & Entertainment Limited
Construction cost $133.5 million CAD
Architect Sink Combs Dethlefs,
Number Ten Architectural Group
Former names True North Centre
Tenants Manitoba Moose (AHL) (2004-present)
Winnipeg Alliance FC (CMISL) (2007)
Capacity Hockey: 15,015
End Stage Concerts: 16,170
Centre Concerts: 16,345

The MTS Centre is an indoor arena at 300 Portage Avenue in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba, in Canada, at the former Eaton's site. It is owned by True North Sports & Entertainment Limited, at a cost of $133.5 million CAD, and is 440,000 square feet[1] (41,000 m2) in size. It opened on November 16, 2004, replacing the since-demolished Winnipeg Arena. It can seat 15,015 spectators for ice hockey and up to 16,333 spectators for concerts. It was formerly known as the True North Centre during planning and construction before Manitoba Telecom Services bought the naming rights for $7 million over 10 years.

The MTS Centre is home to the AHL's Manitoba Moose hockey team. This building is known for its excellent sound, which has made Winnipeg a more prominent location for concerts.

History

With the bankruptcy of the iconic Eaton's retailer, the famed store in downtown Winnipeg was emptied in late 1999. Various alternative uses for the building (including residential condominiums) were suggested, but ultimately the arena was deemed to be the most viable and beneficial to the city's struggling downtown by Winnipeg Mayor Glen Murray and the True North Group. After a small, but emotional resistance to losing the Western Canadian landmark Eaton's building by some locals, which inspired a “group hug” of the “Big Store” by a reported 180 people in 2001, the store was demolished in 2002 to make way for the new entertainment complex.

In an effort to recognize the store's history, red bricks were incorporated into the design of the arena façade, evoking the memory of the Eaton’s store that had once graced Portage Avenue. An original store window and Tyndall stone surround is mounted in the arena concourse to house a collection of Eaton's memorabilia. The Timothy Eaton statue that was once part of store is proudly housed in the MTS Centre.

The MTS Centre has played host to many exhibition pre-season NHL games, including a September 17, 2006 game between the Phoenix Coyotes (formerly the Winnipeg Jets) and the Edmonton Oilers. Other NHL teams to have pre-season games in the MTS Centre include the Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

A 2008 survey was made by the Pollstar Magazine. Through the first nine months of this year, the MTS Centre has sold 270,095 tickets. These ticket sales include only non-sporting events and do not include hockey games. It is now the 19th busiest arena in the world. Also the arena now sits 11th among facilities in North America, its highest ranking ever, and it remains in the 3rd spot in Canada, after the Bell Centre in Montreal (fourth overall) and the Air Canada Centre in Toronto (third overall).

Possible NHL Return to Winnipeg

The NHL previously had a franchise based in Winnipeg called the Jets, which relocated to Phoenix in 1996.

The MTS Centre is usually seen as much too small and would require a significant increase to the seating capacity and significant cost. Its current capacity is 15,015 and the potential ownership including Manitoba Moose owner Mark Chipman has stated that it is in fact not too small, but would create a supply and demand situation. While it would in fact be the smallest arena in the league--Edmonton's Rexall Place being the current smallest at a capacity of just under 17,000--many NHL teams report average attendance well under 15,000. It could also be renovated. Talks were sparked when Commissioner Gary Bettman stated "Under the current CBA..I think an NHL franchise could work in Winnipeg".

Gary Bettman said in April of 2009 he would like to see the Phoenix Coyotes back in Winnipeg instead of Hamilton due to the team filing for bankruptcy.

External links

MTS Centre Official Site


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This article uses material from the "MTS Centre" article on the Ice Hockey wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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