|Former names||True North Centre|
|Location||300 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 5S4
|Owner||True North Sports & Entertainment|
|Operator||True North Sports & Entertainment|
End-Stage Concert: 16,170
Centre-Stage Concert: 16,345
|Field size||440,000 square feet (41,000 m2)|
|Broke ground||April 16, 2003|
|Opened||November 16, 2004|
|Construction cost||CA$133.5 million
($180 million in 2015 dollars)
|Architect||Sink Combs Dethlefs
Number TEN Architectural Group
|Project manager||Hammes Company|
|Structural engineer||Martin & Martin/Crosier Kilgour|
|General contractor||PCL Constructors Canada Inc.|
|Winnipeg Jets (NHL) (2011–present)
Manitoba Moose (AHL) (2004–2011)
Winnipeg Alliance FC (CMISL) (2007 & 2010)
The MTS Centre is an indoor sports arena and entertainment venue located at 300 Portage Avenue in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The arena is the home of the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League and previously served as the home of the American Hockey League's Manitoba Moose (now the St. John's IceCaps) from 2004 to 2011.
The MTS Centre stands on the former Eaton's site and is owned and operated by True North Sports & Entertainment. The 440,000 square feet (41,000 m2) building was constructed at a cost of $133.5 million CAD. It opened on November 16, 2004, replacing the since-demolished Winnipeg Arena. It has a capacity of 15,016 for hockey and 16,345 for concerts. Originally known as the True North Centre during its planning and construction stages, its naming rights are owned by Manitoba Telecom Services.
With the bankruptcy of the iconic Eaton's retailer, the famed store that was originally constructed 1899 in Winnipeg was emptied in late 2001. 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 True North. After a small, but emotional resistance to losing the Western Canadian landmark Eaton's building by some locals and the Save the Eaton's Coalition, 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.
The building was officially opened November 16, 2004. 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, in addition two war memorials were incorporated into the building. The Timothy Eaton statue that was once a main feature of the store is also housed in the MTS Centre.
Events and milestones
The MTS Centre was home to the American Hockey League's Manitoba Moose from its opening in 2004 to 2011. The Moose were moved to St. John's after the Atlanta Thrashers were sold to True North and relocated to Winnipeg for the 2011–12 NHL season.
In October 2006, the MTS Centre improved its washroom facilities to eliminate long lines and it installed 340 "demountable" seats in the lower bowl to replace 352 narrower "retractable" chairs, in a renovation priced at more than $120,000, which lowered capacity from 15,015 to 15,003. A "peanut-restricted" zone for allergic spectators was also added.
Bon Jovi played the MTS Centre December 9, 2007 and was the largest event the centre has seen since its 2004 debut. 16,000+ fans enjoyed the New Jersey rock band and Jon Bon Jovi stated "We'll be back" during his performance. However, the Metallica concert on October 12, 2009 broke this record with Metallica selling more because of general admission on the floor.
The MTS Centre also hosted on September 17, 2006, an NHL pre-season game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Phoenix Coyotes in front of a sold-out crowd of 15,015, before 12 seats were removed, with the Oilers winning 5–0. Later the arena hosted another NHL exhibition game with the former Winnipeg franchise, the Phoenix Coyotes, playing host to the Calgary Flames on September 24, 2008. Calgary defeated Phoenix 3–2, in front of 12,621 fans. On September 24, 2009, the MTS Centre welcomed the Edmonton Oilers and Tampa Bay Lightning to face off the year's NHL exhibition game. The Lightning won in overtime over the Oilers 4–3 . On September 22, 2010, the MTS Centre welcomed the 2010 Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning for the second straight year for an exhibition game in front of a crowd of 14,092. The Lightning won the game 4–2.
On October 29, 2005, Mike Scott was the 1,000,000th customer through the door and received a pair of tickets to every event in 2006.
In 2008, the MTS Centre sold 385,427 tickets. These ticket sales included only non-sporting events and did not include hockey games. With the tickets sales the MTS Centre placed as the 19th busiest arena in the world. The arena sat as 11th busiest among facilities in North America, its highest ranking ever, and it remained in the 3rd spot in Canada, after the Bell Centre in Montreal (sixth worldwide) and the Air Canada Centre in Toronto (fifth worldwide). For the year of 2009 it ranked as the 39th busiest arena in the world, and 26th busiest in North America.
On June 15, 2013 the MTS Centre hosted UFC 161, making Winnipeg only the fifth Canadian city ever to host an event behind Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.
Pink performed at MTS Centre on January 14, 2014 as part of her The Truth About Love Tour.
Justin Bieber brought his My World Tour to the arena on September 14, 2010, and later brought his Believe Tour to the arena on October 18, 2012. Both of the concerts were performed to sell-out crowds.
From 1972 to 1996, the Winnipeg Jets played home games out of the now-demolished Winnipeg Arena. Facing mounting financial troubles, the franchise relocated to Arizona and became the Phoenix Coyotes for the 1996–97 NHL season.
In the interim, the idea of Winnipeg one day returning to the NHL gained momentum, especially after the MTS Centre, constructed mostly with private money, opened. In response to this, many questions were raised about the MTS Centre's potential suitability to host an NHL team. At its current hockey capacity of 15,016, it is the smallest home arena in the NHL, well below the next-smallest—the New York Islanders' Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which seats 16,170 but lacks modern design elements that the MTS Centre has.
After the building of the MTS Centre, the owners of the arena, David Thomson and True North chairman Mark Chipman, began to be floated as the potential owners of an NHL team. Chipman stated that the arena's current size was sufficient for an NHL team due to its unique economics.
After two failed attempts to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes, on May 19, 2011 the Globe and Mail reported that the Atlanta Thrashers would be moved to Winnipeg. These reports were at the time denied by True North saying, "It's simply not true, it's not a done deal." Twelve days later, however, a deal was completed and announced May 31, 2011 at a press conference at the MTS Centre. The sale and relocation was formally approved by the NHL Board of Governors at their meeting on June 21. As part of the transition to the NHL, the arena went through some minor renovations to bring it in line with the league's standards, including construction of additional press boxes, shuttered lighting, flexible rink glass, and upgraded ice refrigeration system.
Notable events hosted
- 2004 World Team Challenge (World figure skating team event)
- 2005 Juno Awards
- 2005 Men's NORCECA Volleyball Championship
- 2005 BDO Classic Canadian Open of Curling
- 2006 AHL All Star Classic
- 2006 BDO Classic Canadian Open of Curling
- 2006–present Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards
- 2007 IIHF Women's World Championship
- 2007 BDO Classic Canadian Open of Curling
- 2007 Game 5 of the Canada Russia Junior Super Series
- 2008 Tim Hortons Brier
- 2008 Canadian Country Music Awards
- 2008 Filming of Wowowee
- 2009 BDO Classic Canadian Open of Curling
- 2009 World Deaf Ice Hockey Championship
- 2009 Canadian National Ball Hockey Championship
- 2010 BDO Classic Canadian Open of Curling
- 2011 Rock on the Range
- 2011 World U-17 Hockey Challenge
- 2011 NHL and Winnipeg Jets return October 9
- 2013 UFC 161
- 2013 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials
- 2014 Juno Awards
- 2014 The Amazing Race Canada 2
Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum
- "Quick Facts". True North Sports & Entertainment. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
- Canadian inflation numbers based on Statistics Canada. "Consumer Price Index, historical summary". CANSIM, table (for fee) 326-0021 and Catalogue nos. 62-001-X, 62-010-X and 62-557-X. And Consumer Price Index, by province (monthly) (Canada) Last modified 2013-12-20. Retrieved January 8, 2014
- Crosier Kilgour - Projects
- Number TEN Group - Recreation
- Emporis.com - MTS Centre
- "MTS Centre (True North Centre". PCL Construction. Retrieved August 4, 2010.[dead link]
- Ternette, Nick (December 3, 2009). "The MTS Centre Has Not Revitalized Downtown". The Uniter. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
- "Timothy Eaton statue begins relocation to MTS Centre". Concertticketcenter.com. October 29, 2003. Retrieved July 22, 2010.
- "Thrashers Headed to Winnipeg". ESPN. June 1, 2011. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
- The Canadian Press (September 16, 2006). "Former Jets Return to Winnipeg After 10 Years". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved May 17, 2009.
- Wiebe, Ken (May 5, 2009). "Lightning to Host Oilers at MTS Centre". Winnipeg Sun. Retrieved May 17, 2009.
- Lawless, Gary (October 29, 2005). "Thanks a Million, Folks!". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved May 17, 2009.
- MacLean, Cameron (January 24, 2009). "MTS Centre 19th-Busiest Showbiz Venue in World". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
- "Pollstar Top 100 Worldwide Arena Venues 2009". Pollstar. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
- Letkemann, Jessica (May 17, 2011). "Pearl Jam reveals WI Labor Day Festival". Billboard. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
- Ternette, Nick (November 3, 2010). "Coyote Question: Is Phoenix an NHL Market?". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved November 21, 2010.
- Brunt, Stephen (May 19, 2011). "Atlanta Thrashers Moving to Winnipeg". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved May 20, 2011.
- "Sources: Thrashers Deal Not Done". ESPN. May 19, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
- "Daly Says MTS Centre Meets Most League Standards As Is". TSN. June 9, 2011. Retrieved June 9, 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to MTS Centre.|
- MTS Centre official website
|Home of the
2004 – 2011
Mile One Centre
(as St. John's IceCaps)
Philips Arena (as Atlanta Thrashers)
|Home of the
2011 – present