NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in Winnipeg
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Gary Bettman Speaks Openly on Low Ticket Sales in Winnipeg

Published February 28, 2024 at 7:37
BY TJ TUCKER

The trip may have been planned in advance, but the timing was certainly on point. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was in Winnipeg today as part of his annual visits to NHL arenas. While speaking with reporters, he openly addressed the poor tickets sales the Jets are currently experiencing.

Mark Chipman, owner of the Winnipeg Jets, has said at least twice now that season ticket sales have dropped significantly over the past couple of season, and while he wants nothing more than to keep the Jets in Winnipeg, current sales aren't sustainable.

"I wouldn't be honest with you if I didn't say, ‘We've got to get back to 13,000,'» Chipman said last week. «This place we find ourselves in right now, it's not going to work over the long haul. It just isn't." - Mark Chipman, The Athletic

As the vast majority of fans are aware, if the Jets were to leave Winnipeg, it would be for the second time. That's something no league wants to see happen, and the odds of getting a third chance would be slim. Asked about it today, Bettman said he believes the community will pull through and keep the team in Winnipeg.


"This is a place, Winnipeg, where hockey matters. I believe this is a strong NHL market. I don't view this as a crisis but I do believe, as with any team in any market, there needs to be collaboration between the community and the fan base and the club and I believe ultimately it will be here.

Obviously, the attendance needs to improve. I have a confidence in the organization and more importantly I have confidence in this community." - Gary Bettman, The Athletic

The sharp drop in season tickets sales would probably make more sense if the team wasn't performing well, but the Jets are currently second in the Central Division and third in the Eastern Conference. That said, if you haven't faced an increase in financial pressures over the past couple of years, you're in the minority. Tickets to hockey games are an easy expense to cut when belt-tightening. As for fans being nervous about the team relocating, Bettman had a short message.

"Get over your anxiety and come to games."

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February 28   |   137 answers
Gary Bettman Speaks Openly on Low Ticket Sales in Winnipeg

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