The Garden City Refugee

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Buy Tickets or Else

April 15, 2023

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Back in the Old Country, there was much talk this past week when the former Atlanta Thrashers franchise Manitoba taxpayers were forced to purchase for Mark Chipman put out a promotional video desperately trying to persuade hockey fans to buy more tickets.

Or else.

Despite official denials to the contrary, the message was crystal clear. Pony up or the team is leaving. Soon. They even included some footage of the Jets waving good bye after they had been permanently eliminated in 1996. Just in case there was anyone who missed the point. But judging from the many comments online, the rank and file definitely got the message. And they’re not happy.

They’re sick of paying top dollar for a mediocre product and a bad fan experience. Seen this movie before? They’re sick of being taken for granted. As one poster put it, they’ve treated their fans like ATMs, then when they burn through all the goodwill, the answer is a guilt trip. They’re sick of Chipman meddling in the hockey department. Seems like he’s not as popular as he was a dozen years ago. Fans are also tapped out. With the state of economy and the hard-hitting effects of inflation, the message that millionaires and billionaires need more wasn’t taken well. There isn’t an endless supply of money in Winnipeg. Hockey tickets are a luxury item and are among the first things to be cut from a struggling family’s household budget. And if all this wasn’t enough, Chipman kicked out many of those who he hadn’t managed to piss off yet for not taking genocidal poison injections. As one poster said, “I used to attend 8-12 games a year with my family. Then you didn’t want us because we didn’t take a useless jab. Haven’t been back since.”

Needless to say, all this is further confirmation that this team is in serious trouble. Chipman doesn’t go begging for business unless he absolutely has to. Whether it’s on his car lots or with his hockey teams, he feels genuinely entitled to your patronage. And when, after treating his customers like garbage for years and the business begins to fail, it’s not his fault. No, it’s never his fault. It’s the customers’ fault.

When the time comes for the team to get ready to leave Winnipeg, there won’t be 30,000 at the Forks begging them to stay.

They’ll be volunteering to help them pack.

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