New arena plan emerges
Photo credit: Ryan Smith

New NHL destination emerges, as Gary Bettman conveniently visits Winnipeg

Published February 27, 2024 at 2:47 PM

Some may think it's just a coincidence while others will believe it's a conspiracy. But one thing is for sure. The timing of today's announcement from Ryan Smith sure seems convenient. One other important detail is that with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. There usually are no coincidences.

Today Gary Bettman is traveling to Winnipeg to discuss with ownership about the faltering attendance numbers. Attendance in Winnipeg is down nearly 30% and the team has seen significant drop in season ticket renewals. This is concerning for a market that previously lost an NHL team.

Last week the Jets' CEO shared that these numbers were not sustainable. This came as a concern to many in the Winnipeg market who fought so hard to bring the team back to Canada. Now today as Bettman travels to Winnipeg. A new possibility for the NHL has emerged.

Ryan Smith shared the following via his X account this morning.

Downtown Salt Lake City is the heart of Utah. Our efforts are not about an arena, it's about revitalizing a downtown that desperately needs investment. Imagine a downtown experience like this with the NBA / NHL at its core.

Smith, the owner of the NBA's Utah Jazz has made it clear in the past that he fully intends on eventually acquiring an NHL franchise. Smith has shared details on both the market strengths and possibilities within it.

It's crazy to think that the NHL will continue to allow the Arizona Coyotes to play in a 5000 seat stadium, But could consider moving the Jets after a brief battle with attendance. However, this would be completely on brand with the league and would surprise absolutely no one.

Fans quickly caught on and begun to point out this possibility.

So whether it was just a coincidence or not, only time will tell. But hopefully for Winnipeg sports fans, this isn't the beginning of the end for another team.
February 27   |   324 answers
New NHL destination emerges, as Gary Bettman conveniently visits Winnipeg

Should the Winnipeg Jets move?

Yes, if they aren't financially sustainable8325.6 %
No, they shouldn't move18958.3 %
Only if the Coyotes move5216 %
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