The MTS Centre, Winnipeg’s premiere entertainment facility, and home to the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets, is set to undergo some minor upgrades in the coming years.
As the arena approaches a decade of existence, True North Sports & Entertainment CEO Mark Chipman commented on enhancing the viewing experience:
“We’ve looked at a plan to build some loge seating which would basically hang off the 300 level so we’re going through the engineering and studying that, currently, but we’re only talking about 250, maybe 300 seats, not thousands.”
At a standing-room sellout of 15,004, the MTS Centre is the smallest venue by size in the NHL, although officially the loudest (circa 2011). Packing even more people into the Cable Box can bring nothing but positives to Jets’ supporters.
The work has already begun on a project dubbed “True North 2020″ by the company, which is a 5-year plan of upgrades to the upper-deck, worth $30 million.
As one who has visited over 10 different NHL arenas, I agree that the MTS Centre has, and continues to deliver the best fan experience, both at the AHL level with the Manitoba Moose, and the present with the Jets. It’s downtown location will make physical expansion of the Centre a nightmare, and it’s something Chipman says will never be in the plans.
“We can’t physically expand (the MTS Centre). And we’re not going to do that and we never considered that.”
The Centre will turn 10 in the fall, but is still the NHL’s third-newest arena, behind the Prudential Center (New Jersey Devils, 2007) and Consol Energy Center (Pittsburgh Penguins, 2010). The New York Islanders will soon have the NHL’s newest rink, when they start playing at the Barclay’s Center in 2015.
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