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AIR FOR SALE IN WINNIPEG; NEW ARENA GAINS "AMAZING" SUPPORT
Published December 9, 1994
In an announcement described as "amazing and remarkable," the Manitoba Entertainment Complex (MEC) has commitments by the city's corporate community to buy 40 luxury boxes and 1,200 premium seats for a new hockey rink for the Jets. MEC spokesperson Bob Silver: "We've sold air. We have no site, we have no building. ... We don't even have a hockey season." The new rink, if its built at all, won't open until '97, but arena builders are "optimistic" by the marketing effort. Jets President Barry Shenkarow said a reason for the success is that the NHL labour dispute has boosted the confidence of "Winnipeggers" that a league wide salary cap will be realized and that a small market franchises such as the Jets will draw fans to a new building still on the driving board. The team has said it will move if it does not get a new facility. The MEC has generated C$5.8M for the project and C$8.2M in annual revenues. Their target is to raise C$10M toward the cost of the C$110M facility (David Roberts, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 12/9).