NHL Wiki
MTS Centre
File:MTS CENTRE b.jpg
Former names True North Centre
Location 300 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 5S4
Broke ground April 16, 2003[1]
Opened November 16, 2004
Owner True North Sports & Entertainment Limited
Operator True North Sports & Entertainment Limited
Surface Multi-surface
Construction cost $133.5 million CAD
($Template:Formatprice in 2022 dollarsTemplate:Inflation-fn)
Architect Sink Combs Dethlefs
Number Ten Architectural Group
Structural engineer Crosier Kilgour & Partners Ltd.[2]
General Contractor PCL Constructors Canada Inc.[3]
Capacity Hockey: 17,015[4]
End-Stage Concert: 16,170[4]
Centre-Stage Concert: 16,345[4]
Rodeo/Motocross: 13,198[4]
Winnipeg Jets (NHL) (2011-present)
Manitoba Moose (AHL) (2004–2011)
Winnipeg Alliance FC (CMISL) (2007 & 2010)

The MTS Centre is an indoor sports arena and entertainment venue in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and home of the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League. It is located on the former Eaton's site and is owned and operated by True North Sports & Entertainment Limited. The 440,000 square feet[4] (41,000 m2) building was constructed at a cost of $133.5 million CAD. It opened on November 16, 2004, replacing the since-demolished Winnipeg Arena. The MTS Centre has a capacity of 15,015 for hockey and 16,345 for concerts. It was originally known as the True North Centre during its planning and construction stages before the naming rights were purchased by Manitoba Telecom Services.

The MTS Centre was home to the American Hockey League's Manitoba Moose from its opening in 2004 to 2011.[4] The Moose were moved to St. John's after the Atlanta Thrashers were sold to True North and relocated to Winnipeg for the 2011–12 NHL season.[5] Aside from hockey, the arena has made Winnipeg a more prominent location for concerts, as the building is known for its excellent acoustics.[6]


With the bankruptcy of the iconic Eaton's retailer, the famed store that was originally constructed 1905 in downtown Winnipeg was emptied in late 1999.[7] Various alternative uses for the building (including residential condominiums) were suggested, but ultimately the arena was deemed to be the most viable and beneficial to the city's struggling downtown by Winnipeg Mayor Glen Murray and True North.[8] After a small, but emotional resistance to losing the Western Canadian landmark Eaton's building by some locals and the Save the Eaton's Coalition, which inspired a "group hug" of the "Big Store" by a reported 180 people in 2001, the store was demolished in 2002 to make way for the new entertainment complex.[8]

The building was officially opened November 16, 2004.[7] In an effort to recognize the store's history, red bricks were incorporated into the design of the arena façade, evoking the memory of the Eaton’s store that had once graced Portage Avenue. An original store window and Tyndall stone surround is mounted in the arena concourse to house a collection of Eaton's memorabilia, in addition two war memorials were incorporated into the building.[7] The Timothy Eaton statue that was once a main feature of the store is also housed in the MTS Centre.[9]

Events hosted[]

  • 2005 Juno Awards
  • 2005 Men's NORCECA Volleyball Championship
  • 2006 AHL All Star Classic
  • 2007 IIHF World Women's Championship
  • 2007 Game 5 of the Canada Russia Junior Super Series
  • 2008 Tim Hortons Brier
  • 2008 Canadian Country Music Awards
  • 2008 Filming of Wowowee
  • 2009 BDO Classic Canadian Open
  • 2009 World Deaf Ice Hockey Championship
  • 2009 Canadian National Ball Hockey Championship
  • 2009 Aboriginal Peoples Choice Awards
  • 2010 BDO Classic Canadian Open
  • 2011 World U-17 Hockey Challenge



A Manitoba Moose game

In October 2006, the MTS Centre improved its washroom facilities to eliminate long lines and it installed 340 "demountable" seats in the lower bowl to replace 352 narrower "retractable" chairs, in a renovation priced at more than $120,000. A "peanut-restricted" zone for allergic spectators was also added.

Bon Jovi played the MTS Centre December 9, 2007 and was the largest event the centre has seen since its 2004 debut. 16,000+ fans enjoyed the New Jersey rock band and Jon Bon Jovi stated "We'll be back" during his performance. However, the Metallica concert on October 12, 2009 broke this record with Metallica selling more because of general admission on the floor.

The MTS Centre also hosted on September 17, 2006, an NHL pre-season game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Phoenix Coyotes in front of a sold-out crowd of 15,015 with the Oilers winning 5-0.[10] Later the arena hosted another NHL exhibition game with the former Winnipeg franchise, the Phoenix Coyotes, playing host to the Calgary Flames on September 24, 2008. Calgary defeated Phoenix 3-2, in front of 12,621 fans (84% capacity). On September 24, 2009, the MTS Centre welcomed the Edmonton Oilers and Tampa Bay Lightning to face off the year's NHL exhibition game. The Lightning won in overtime over the Oilers 4-3 .[11] On September 22, 2010, the MTS Centre welcomed the 2010 Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning for the second straight year for an exhibition game in front of a crowd of 14,092 (94% capacity). The Lightning won the game 4-2.

On October 29, 2005, Mike Scott was the 1,000,000th customer through the door and received a pair of tickets to every event in 2006.[12]

In 2008, the MTS Centre sold 385,427 tickets. These ticket sales included only non-sporting events and did not include hockey games. With the tickets sales the MTS Centre placed as the 19th busiest arena in the world. The arena sat as 11th busiest among facilities in North America, its highest ranking ever, and it remained in the 3rd spot in Canada, after the Bell Centre in Montreal (sixth worldwide) and the Air Canada Centre in Toronto (fifth worldwide).[13] For the year of 2009 it ranked as the 39th busiest arena in the world, and 26th busiest in North America.[14]

The American band Pearl Jam played at the arena in September 2011, as part of the bands 20th anniversary celebrations.[15]

NHL returns[]

From 1972 to 1996, the Winnipeg Jets played home games out of the now-demolished Winnipeg Arena. Facing mounting financial troubles, the franchise relocated to Arizona and became the Phoenix Coyotes for the 1996-97 NHL season.

In the interim, the idea of Winnipeg one day returning to the NHL gained momentum, especially after the MTS Centre, constructed entirely with private money, opened. In response to this, many questions were raised about the MTS Centre's potential suitability to host an NHL team. At its current hockey capacity of 15,015, it is the smallest home arena in the NHL, well below the next-smallest—the New York Islanders' Nassau Coliseum, which seats 16,234.

The owners of the arena, David Thomson and True North chairman Mark Chipman, were floated as the potential owners of an NHL team. Chipman has stated that the arena's current size is sufficient for an NHL team due to its unique economics. Further supporting the viability of the arena was the reported attendance figures of many struggling teams averaging below the MTS Centre's capacity.[16] Eight teams, or over 26% of the league, had lower attendance than the MTS Centre's capacity through the 2010-11 NHL season.[17]

In March 2010, a number of news outlets reported an agreement in principle had been reached between the NHL and the Winnipeg group to move the Phoenix Coyotes back to Winnipeg as early as the 2011–2012 season if plans to keep the team in Arizona were to fall through. Plans to expand the arena's capacity were also reported, and True North is currently expanding the arena's press box.[18][19] Meanwhile, all suggestions of any deals being in place were categorically denied by Chipman and NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.[20] On October 16, 2010, Scott Burnside of ESPN.com reported that an ownership deal to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix was in place. The proposed ownership deal had the City of Glendale, owner of Jobing.com Arena, buying the parking rights from the team's proposed owner, Matthew Hulsizer, for $100 million (US), and Glendale paying $97 million (US) in arena management fees to Hulsizer. The Glendale-Hulsizer ownership deal hit numerous snags, and appeared near collapse after the Detroit Red Wings swept the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round of the 2010–2011 NHL playoffs.[21] As of April 26, 2011, the ownership deal in Glendale remained stalled by threatened litigation and financial difficulties, leaving the location of the Coyotes franchise uncertain for the 2011-2012 season. Eventually, the City of Glendale pumped money into the arena, buying time for the NHL to find a new owner for the team.

On May 19, 2011 the Globe and Mail reported that the Atlanta Thrashers would be moved to Winnipeg.[22] These reports were later denied by True North saying, "It's simply not true, it's not a done deal."[23] Twelve days later, however, a deal was completed and announced May 31, 2011 at a press conference at the MTS Centre. The sale and relocation was formally approved by the NHL Board of Governors at their meeting on June 21. As part of the transition to the NHL, the arena is going through some minor renovations to bring it in line with the league's standards.[24]

Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum[]

Main article: Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame

See also[]


  1. http://www.mtscentre.ca/construction/030418/
  2. http://www.ckpeng.com/structural_design/projects/
  3. http://www.emporis.com/application/?lng=3&nav=building&id=223830
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 "Community MTS Centre - Quick Facts". MTS Centre. http://www.mtscentre.ca/arena/index.php. Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  5. http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=6610414
  6. "Simon & Garfunkel at MTS Centre". Concertticketcenter.com. http://www.mtscentre.ca/arena/index.php. Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "MTS Centre (True North Centre". PCL Construction. http://www.pcl.com/projects/archived/MTSCentre/index.aspx. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Nick Ternette (3 December 2009). "The MTS Centre has not revitalized downtown". The Uniter. http://uniter.ca/view/2607/. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  9. "Timothy Eaton statue begins relocation to MTS Centre". Concertticketcenter.com. Oct, 29. 2003. http://www.mtscentre.ca/press_releases/031029/. Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  10. "Former Jets return to Winnipeg after 10 years". The Globe and Mail. 2006-09-16. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060918.wjets18/BNStory/Sports/Hockey/. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  11. "Lightning to host Oilers at MTS Centre". Winnipeg Sun. 2009-05-05. http://www.winnipegsun.com/sports/hockey/2009/05/05/9359446.html. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  12. "Thanks a million, folks!". Winnipeg Free Press. 2005-10-29. http://www.mtscentre.ca/press_releases/content.php?press_id=96. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  13. "MTS Centre 19th-busiest showbiz venue in world". The Winnipeg Free Press. 2009-01-24. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/mts_centre_19th-busiest_showbiz_venue_in_world38266214.html. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  14. "Pollstar Top 100 Worldwide Arena Venues 2009". Pollstar. http://www.sprintcenter.com/resources/pdfs/20093QYTDTicketSalesChartsTop100ArenaVenues.pdf. Retrieved 2010-04-09. 
  15. "Pearl Jam reveals WI Labor Day Festival". billboard.com. 2011-05-17. http://www.billboard.com/events/pearl-jam-reveals-wi-labor-day-fest-canadian-1005185122.story#/events/pearl-jam-reveals-wi-labor-day-fest-canadian-1005185122.story. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  16. Nick Ternette (3 November 2010). "Coyote question: Is Phoenix an NHL market?". Yahoo Sports. http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news?slug=nc-coyotes110310. Retrieved 2010-11-21. 
  17. "NHL Attendance Leaders". ESPN. http://espn.go.com/nhl/attendance. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  18. "Hockey Night In Canada: Gotta be Winnipeg!". CBC Sports. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sZFF-ZxWOI. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  19. "Campbell's Cuts: Rumors of relocation". The Hockey News. http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/32354-Campbells-Cuts-Rumors-of-relocation-realities.html. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  20. "NHL's Daly statement on Coyotes ownership". National Hockey League. http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=523222. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  21. "Matthew Hulsizer nearing deal". ESPN ]accessdate=2010-10-16. http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=5688916. 
  22. Brunt, Stephen (19 May 2011). "Atlanta Thrashers moving to Winnipeg". Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. http://web.archive.org/web/20110520015341/http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/atlanta-thrashers-moving-to-winnipeg/article2029179/. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  23. Sources: Thrashers deal not done, ESPN, May 19, 2011.
  24. Daly says MTS Centre meets most league standards as is, TSN, June 9, 2011.

External links[]

Template:EndTemplate:Winnipeg JetsTemplate:TrueNorthSportsEntertainmentTemplate:NHL ArenasTemplate:PASL-Pro ArenasTemplate:Coordde:MTS Centrefr:MTS Centreit:MTS Centreja:MTSセンターpt:MTS Centreru:МТС Центрsr:МТС центарfi:MTS Centresv:MTS Centre
Preceded by
Winnipeg Arena
Home of the
Manitoba Moose

2004 – 2011
Succeeded by
Mile One Centre
(as St. John's IceCaps)
Preceded by
Philips Arena (as Atlanta Thrashers)
Home of the
Winnipeg Jets

2011 – present
Succeeded by