Steeves becomes a Jets believer
ST. Vital Coun. Gord Steeves has added his name to the chorus of Winnipeggers who believe this city can afford a National Hockey League franchise.
After reviewing a list of the gross ticket sales of all 30 NHL franchises, city council's community services boss said it's obvious that Winnipeggers would easily spend more to watch the NHL than fans currently do in a number of poorly performing U.S. hockey markets.
"The bottom seven drawing teams last season averaged under $600,000 per game in ticket sales revenue," Steeves said in a letter published in the Globe and Mail on Monday. "Winnipeg has a rink that seats 15,100 for hockey. If Winnipeg could average 14,500 fans per game at an average ticket price of $49, the team would average $710,500 per game in ticket revenue."
Like Steeves, most hockey observers believe fan support for the NHL would be stronger in Winnipeg than it currently is in several U.S. NHL cities. But questions remain about the strength of corporate support for pro hockey in Winnipeg, a city that boasts relatively few corporate head offices.
In a subsequent e-mail, Steeves pledged to delve further into the possibility of the NHL's return to Winnipeg once he returns from a short leave.
Steeves is temporarily absent from council due to a personal matter.