|Former names||True North Centre (planning)|
|Address||300 Portage Avenue|
|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
($185 million in 2016 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, 2015–present)
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 the Jets' American Hockey League affiliate, the Manitoba Moose.
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 15,294 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 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 MTS Centre officially opened on November 16, 2004, replacing the aging Winnipeg Arena, which had been in operation since 1955. 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, near the spot where it stood in the Eaton's building.
American Hockey League
The AHL's Manitoba Moose were the arena's first tenant, from its opening in 2004 to 2011. The team relocated to St. John's prior to the 2011–12 AHL season to make way for the arrival of the Winnipeg Jets. The Moose returned to the MTS Centre for the 2015–16 season, making the arena the first (together with the SAP Center at San Jose) to be home to both an NHL team and its AHL affiliate. Only the lower bowl, which has a capacity of 8,812, is used for the majority of Moose home games.
The arena hosted the AHL All-Star Classic on February 1, 2006, in which Team Canada defeated Team PlanetUSA, 9-4.
National Hockey League
From 1972 to 1996, the original Winnipeg Jets played home games out of the now-demolished Winnipeg Arena. Facing mounting financial troubles, the franchise relocated to Arizona after the 1995–96 NHL season and became the Phoenix Coyotes.
The idea of Winnipeg one day returning to the NHL gained momentum after the MTS Centre opened. David Thomson and Mark Chipman were floated as potential owners of an NHL team, although many questions were raised about the MTS Centre's potential suitability as an NHL venue. The arena's capacity was well below that of the next-smallest NHL arena at that time, the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which sat 16,170 but lacked modern design elements. Chipman stated that the arena's current size was sufficient for an NHL team due to the unique economics of the local market.
On May 19, 2011, The Globe and Mail reported that Mark Chipman and True North were finalizing the purchase of the Atlanta Thrashers, with the intent of moving the team to Winnipeg. Twelve days later, True North chairman Mark Chipman, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, and Premier of Manitoba Greg Selinger held a press conference at the MTS Centre to announce the deal, which was formally approved by the NHL Board of Governors three weeks later. 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. Further improvements were made over the next few years, including concourse expansion and the installation of a new high-definition scoreboard. A total of 278 premium seats were added to the upper level in 2015, slightly increasing the arena's capacity.
Prior to the return of the Jets, the MTS Centre hosted a number of NHL preseason games. The first was held on September 17, 2006 between the Edmonton Oilers and the Phoenix Coyotes, in front of a sold-out crowd, which the Oilers won 5–0. The NHL exhibition game became an annual event for the MTS Centre, concluding in September 2010 when the defending Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks played the Tampa Bay Lightning in front of a crowd of 14,092.
In international hockey, the MTS Centre hosted the 2007 IIHF Women's World Championship, which was won by the host country. Other international matches hosted at the arena included 2005 World Junior Championship pretournament games, the fifth game of the 2007 Super Series between Canada and Russia, and the medal round of the 2011 World U-17 Hockey Challenge.
Events and milestones
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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 15,004. 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.
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.
On January 20, 2015, legendary artist Bryan Adams performed at the arena as a part of his Reckless 30th anniversary tour.
The weekend of June 17, 2016, Garth Brooks performed 4 concerts to the largest group of people at a concert event in the building's history, with over 60,000 tickets sold as part of The Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood.
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 2016-01-22. Retrieved March 2, 2016
- Crosier Kilgour - Projects
- Number TEN Group - Recreation
- Emporis.com - MTS Centre
- "True North relocates AHL franchise to Winnipeg". Winnipeg Jets. March 12, 2015. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
- Roberts, Meghan (March 12, 2015). "Winnipeggers and local businesses welcome AHL team". CTV Winnipeg. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
- "TRUE NORTH SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LIMITED UNVEILS MANITOBA MOOSE AS NAME OF AHL FRANCHISE & ANNOUNCES DETAILS OF TICKET CAMPAIGN". MooseHockey.com. Manitoba Moose. May 4, 2015. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
- "MTS Centre (True North Centre". PCL Construction. Archived from the original on September 6, 2008. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
- 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.
- 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.
- . Winnipeg Sun. September 16, 2015 http://www.winnipegsun.com/2015/09/16/mts-centre-makeover. Missing or empty
- 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" (PDF). Pollstar. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
- Letkemann, Jessica (May 17, 2011). "Pearl Jam reveals WI Labor Day Festival". Billboard. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
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