MTS Centre is one of western Canada’s busiest and most popular sports and entertainment arenas. It is named for the local corporation, Manitoba Telecom Services, that paid for the sponsoring rights. And it is the permanent home of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Winnipeg Jets.
But it is more than just an excellent venue for professional ice hockey … much, much more. In fact, MTS Centre, which began operations on November 16, 2004, just eleven years ago, has sold as many as three hundred eighty-five thousand four hundred twenty seven tickets for events other than professional ice hockey in a single year.
It was 2008 and area residents flocked to MTS Centre literally every evening to watch and enjoy concerts starring top music stars, live World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) events like Monday Night Raw and Pay-Per-View spectaculars plus so much more.
As a result of that very successful year, MTS Centre was named the eleventh busiest sports and entertainment arena in all of North America and the nineteenth busiest arena in the world.
Graphic via ballparks
Comfortable seats and wide concourses with lots of food stands help to enrich fan experience in this very modern facility. The Winnipeg Jets can, and often do, perform in front of a capacity crowd. When that happens, fifteen thousand two hundred ninety-four energetic and enthusiastic fans watch the action take place on the ice.
While there is no basketball team using this arena right now, the game can be played on a hardwood floor before as many as fifteen thousand seven hundred fifty fans.
Rodeo and Motocross events, both wildly popular in western Canada, can accommodate up to thirteen thousand one hundred ninety-eight customers while a concert performed on center stage can be enjoyed by sixteen thousand three hundred forty-five music lovers.
Interestingly, this twenty-first century building cost one hundred thirty three million five hundred thousand Canadian dollars to erect. In 2015, the cost to build the same structure would be one hundred eighty million U.S. dollars.
MTC Centre replaced the old Winnipeg Arena which was demolished when the new building was ready to open. Since opening, such musical luminaries as Jon Bon Jovi (his performance attracted sixteen thousand fans in 2007), Metallica (they appeared before an even larger crowd), Fleetwood Mac, Pink and Britney Spears have also performed in front of packed houses.
And if that were not enough to mark MTC Centre as “special,” Pearl Jam made it the final stop of its always-sold-out 20th Anniversary Tour in 2011.
The big arena with the comfortable seats is definitely fan-friendly. Add a quality hockey team and the world’s best-known entertainers, true musical superstars, and it’s easy to understand why MTS Centre is busy most of the time … and why it will continue to attract great acts and big crowds in the years ahead.
Graphic via tripadvisor