MTS Centre
Location 300 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg,MB R3C 5S4
Broke ground April 2003
Opened November 16, 2004
Owner True North Sports & Entertainment Limited
Operator True North Sports & Entertainment Limited
Former names True North Centre
Tenants Manitoba Moose (AHL) (2004-present)
Winnipeg Alliance FC (Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League) (2007)
Capacity Hockey: 15,015
Concerts: 16,170
Rodeo/Motorcross: 13,198

The MTS Centre is an indoor arena at 300 Portage Avenue in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba, in Canada, at the former Eaton's site. It is owned by True North Sports & Entertainment Limited, at a cost of $133.5 million , and is 440,000 square feet in size. It opened on November 16, 2004, replacing the since-demolished Winnipeg Arena. It can seat 15,015 spectators for ice hockey and up to 16,333 spectators for concerts. It was formerly known as the True North Centre during planning and construction before Manitoba Telecom Services bought the naming rights for $7 million over 10 years.

The MTS Centre is home to the AHL's Manitoba Moose hockey team. This building is known for its excellent sound, which has made Winnipeg a more prominent location for concerts.

History[edit | edit source]

With the bankruptcy of the iconic Eaton's retailer, the famed store in downtown Winnipeg was emptied in late 1999. 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 the True North Group. After a small, but emotional resistance to losing the Western Canadian landmark Eaton's building by some locals, 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.

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. The Timothy Eaton statue that was once part of store is proudly housed in the MTS Centre.

Events Hosted[edit | edit source]

Recent[edit | edit source]

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. They also created a "peanut-restricted" zone for allergic spectators.

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. 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.

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.

A 2008 survey was made by the Pollstar Magazine. Through the first nine months of this year, the MTS Centre has sold 270,095 tickets. These ticket sales include only non-sporting events and do not include hockey games. It is now the 19th busiest arena in the world. Also the arena now sits 11th among facilities in North America, its highest ranking ever, and it remains in the 3rd spot in Canada, after the Bell Centre in Montreal (sixth overall) and the Air Canada Centre in Toronto (fifth overall).

NHL Tenants[edit | edit source]

The NHL currently has a franchise based in Winnipeg called the Jets, debuting their first NHL game in Winnipeg on Sunday October 9th, 2011 against Montreal.

External links[edit | edit source]

Preceded by
Winnipeg Arena
Home of the
Manitoba Moose

2004 – present
Succeeded by

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