Making the Jets home games in Winnipeg the right move
Desperate moments. Encounter desperate measures.
How else is it that True North is looking west and briefly considering the possibility of moving the Winnipeg Jets home games for the foreseeable future?
The idea was first discussed Thursday with season ticket holders, as public health orders in Manitoba currently limit the capacity of the Canada Life Center to just 250 fans. It was taken off the table less than 24 hours later, following a lot of negative comments from people paying the freight.
In the end, it’s the right call.
While playing in front of crowds in a city like Saskatoon would certainly have provided a temporary boost to the bank account – if the games were to ultimately be played one way or another, the income is better than nothing, no. isn’t it? – that would have been a bad business decision for a myriad of reasons.
Short-term personal gain. Likely long-term public pain.
Let’s start with the most important issue of health and safety. COVID and the fast-spreading Omicron variant don’t magically disappear once you reach the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border.
Just because our neighbors currently allow it – despite radically different rules everywhere else in Canada – does not mean that it is not the right thing to do. (From the “How’s it going so far?” Department, Saskatoon just went critical status in its color-coded framework on Friday, following an increase in infections).
Read the room, the friends, and all the scientific and medical opinion that exists as our numbers explode, hospital beds fill up quickly, and frontline workers are taxed to the max again. Being the reason 15,000 people are gathering under one roof right now for potential super-spreader events is nothing to celebrate.
The optics would be terrible.
“Completely disrespectful and shows no leadership or understanding for the safety of people,” that’s how one longtime Jets season ticket holder told me.
“If they move the games to avoid the restrictions, I won’t be renewing my season tickets next time.” – A staunch fan of the Winnipeg Jets.
“I think this whole situation sucks and I hate COVID with the power of a thousand suns, but that only smacks of elitism. If they move matches to avoid the restrictions, I won’t renew my subscriptions next time around. another dice said. -support hard.
While I suspect the majority of people understand that True North is a private company with a mandate to make money – and many won’t blame them for thinking outside the box here – there is something to say about subtlety and staying the course, especially in the midst of a deadly global pandemic where so many are suffering.
There’s also the worry of disconnecting with your own loyal audience, the same group that filled the downtown ice rink for a decade and still chants the name of the owner group for a decade. oh Canada.
Are we not meant to be in the same boat, even as the evidence accumulates, society is anything but? And shouldn’t True North, given their importance and platform, lead by example? To step out of the dodge to take advantage of what is essentially a loophole would be a muffled attempt to put profits before people.
And that message, it seems, was received loud and clear on the basis of the poll.
According to True North, only 30 percent of respondents supported moving some home games “if that helps the hockey club.” Forty percent had “negative sentiment” while the remaining 30 percent were neutral.