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Jets chairman Chipman says current state of attendance is not sustainable

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Winnipeg Jets chairman Mark Chipman says the NHL team's future could be in jeopardy if attendance doesn't improve.

In an interview with The Athletic, Chipman said the Jets need to get back to a season ticket base of 13,000, and current attendance numbers are "not going to work over the long haul."

The Jets are struggling to draw fans to Canada Life Centre, the NHL's smallest permanent arena with a capacity of 15,225 for hockey games.

Despite icing a competitive team led by star goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, the Jets have the second-lowest average attendance at 13,098. Only the Arizona Coyotes, who are temporarily playing at 4,600-seat Mullett Arena in Tempe, draw fewer fans.

According to the article by The Athletic, Winnipeg's season-ticket base has decreased 27 per cent in three years from approximately 13,000 to just under 9,500.

Chipman said in the article that he has been personally calling lapsed season ticket subscribers to ask them to return.

The current incarnation of the Jets has played since the Atlanta Thrashers relocated to Manitoba's capital in 2011.

The original Jets played in the NHL from 1979 to 1996 before moving to Phoenix.

   This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2024.

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