Friday, February 3, 2012

Smaller is Sometimes Better When it Comes to Winnipeg

When it comes to the city of Winnipeg one of the greatest hockey cities on earth, smaller is sometimes better.  Winnipeg is proving to the hockey and sports world that this small market city can be successful.  The little town that could is an awesome market for hockey. argued last year that this small market city would prove its worth to the hockey world and the NHL.  While over 60% of the season has been played and we will have to see what the future holds, the outlook in the Peg is looking bright.

The first positive sign is the play of the Winnipeg Jets.  The Jets are 24-22-6 and are only 3 points out of first place in their division and 4 points out of 8th place in the Eastern Conference.  Making the playoffs would be a huge accomplishment.

The next positive sign and one we've known since last summer is that the fan support in the city is incredible.  The Jets are sold out for the next 3 seasons.  Sprotmentary argued last year that it's better to sell out a small arena than a big barn like they had in Atlanta and one they have in Phoenix.  Winnipeg fills the small 15,000 MTS Center and the owners have maximized their profits.  While most owners will not reveal their team's finances, some sources are saying that the Jets revenues are in the top 10 to 15 in the league (Winnipeg Free Press).

The passion of Winnipeg Jets fans is great.  Every game, the Jets play to a sold out building and to fans that are out of this world.  It has to be great for the players to play in an atmosphere like Winnipeg.  The success of the team at home is due in part to the team's loyal following.

Winnipeg Jets hockey players are heroes in the city.  Not only does the team play to a full house every night, they are highly visible in the community.  The Jets are the only major North American sports team in the city.  That also has to be a great feeling for the players.  In other cities (In the USA), players would be competing for fan support and appreciation with players from 4 other major sports teams.

With the Jets being the big fish in town and hockey being part of the culture of the community in Winnipeg, it's no wonder the team can be successful.  Maybe in any other sport, the recipe for success wouldn't be as great but in Winnipeg you have the majority of the city being hockey fans and that will play into the team being financially successful.

In Winnipeg's case, smaller is better.  Their is an intimacy between the team and the community. With Winnipeg fighting for the playoffs, that intimacy and bond will continue.  The future in Winnipeg is bright.  Winnipeg will continue to be a poster child for the small Canadian city that can be a successful NHL city.

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