The Blue Ribbon Campaign to Keep the Jets in Manitoba
Return to Efforts to Save the Jets
This is the text of information distributed regarding the Blue Ribbon Campaign to save the Jets in May 1995:
SAVE OUR JETS GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT IN FULL SWING!!!
WORLD-WIDE TOLL-FREE FAX DONATION PLEDGE LINE: 1-800-295-2688,OR FOR DIRECT CREDIT CARD DONATIONS, CALL 788-6155 (IN WPG) OUTSIDE WINNIPEG, CALL TOLL-FREE: 1-800-790-8728(24 HOURS) - RECEIPTS ISSUED.
All Donations held in trust pending a successful outcome
WE NEED SUPPORT FROM MANITOBANS LIVING EVERYWHERE!!
On Wednesday, May 3,1995, the Winnipeg Jets were declared dead. That declaration was premature.
There is still a spark of life. That spark is a cry from the people of Manitoba who said they weren't going to let their team go without a fight. Well now, the fight is on. This is your finest hour Manitoba.
This is your moment to come together as a community united in one cause - Save Our Jets.
We're counting on the three levels of government to build the new arena that will be the cornerstone of optimism, hope and vigilance as we march together towards the 21st Century. Not in defeat, but with heads held high. Now it's the people's turn.
The Countdown is ON....
In the short time available it will be impossible to contact every individual or business. It's up to you, the citizens of Manitoba and expatriate Manitobans living in other provinces or other countries to get involved. We have four brief days in which to fan the spark into a bright and shining flame. A flame who's glow will be seen throughout North America as the spirit of a people who rallied together to save not just a team, not just a building, but their very heart and soul. Win or lose, in triumph or defeat, these next four days will confirm for all time that the fire of fellowship and community burns brightest in Manitoba.
How much do we have to raise?
The three levels of government have to build the new arena at a capital cost of $110 million (CDN). The private citizens of Manitoba, rallying around community leaders like Izzy Asper and the members of the Manitoba Entertainment Complex have to match that figure, dollar for dollar.
Where do we stand?
There are many ways to become involved. You can make your donation to the cause as outlined at the top of this page. You can attend the public rally events planned over the next four days. However, it is crucial that every Manitoban is involved show their support. We must make a clear and undeniable statement of our commitment to this cause through a show of our numbers in public, and through our cash donations. The effort is everything. Make the effort. Because every dollar you donate brings us one dollar closer to saving the Jets.
Here's How To Become Involved..
MONDAY, MAY 15, 1995
CJOB 680 AM Radio - On-air Fund Raising Marathon. Beginning at 5:00 am this morning and continuing 24 hours a day through Thursday, CJOB has committed all their air-time to raising money. They'll be talking about the progress of the campaign, the special events, and they'll take your donations. Banks and Credit Unions - Donation Drop-Off Centres. Every bank and credit union in the province of Manitoba will act as a donation collection centre. Make your donation to any Manitoba bank branch. A RECEIPT WILL BE ISSUED.
TUESDAY, MAY 16
The Biggest Rally in Manitoba History!! The Family Rally at the Forks - Featuring Special Guest Entertainers. Admission is FREE, donations will be accepted. Begins at 7:00pm at the FORKS downtown! Come together at the Forks in the biggest show of community involvement ever staged. Rally your friends and family for great entertainment and your chance to donate at the event. This is the main event, we expect 30,000 to 40,000 people at this event! Join Jet Players and their families and see you at the Forks!!
WEDNESDAY, MAY 17
“Save the Jets Fund” Social 7:00 pm, Winnipeg Convention Centre, $100 per ticket, tickets available via Select-A-Seat, 780-SEAT (7328).
THURSDAY, MAY 18
On Thursday, we'll know the result of our efforts.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
This group represents the citizens of Manitoba who consider the Winnipeg Jets a key asset of the Province of Manitoba. We therefore support the governments' responsible use of public funds to assist the private sector in the construction of a new arena/entertainment complex. A world class entertainment facility and professional hockey franchise will not only have positive financial spin-offs for the Province but also maintain Winnipeg's role as a premier North American City.
Over the next few weeks, we will provide Manitobans a vehicle in which they can voice their support of this position. Through a province-wide petition and significant corporate support, we will communicate clearly that Manitobans truly want to continue on the course of progress. This message must be strongly conveyed to our Civic, Provincial and Federal Government representatives. This is especially important and timely because of the May 1, 1995 deadline to have an agreement signed to build the new arena and keep the Jets in Winnipeg. The provincial election is in it's crucial stage for all candidates and parties.
Supporters of the new arena and of the Jets must act now to tell their candidates their feelings on this issue of paramount importance. Please join us in supporting initiatives to keep the Jets in Manitoba.
THE MANITOBA ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX INC.
604-283 Portage Avenue
Ph: (204) 942-0654, Fax: (204)943-3922
Marketing: (204) 987-9600, Fax: (204) 943-3018
DEALS WILL BE MADE WHILE RECORDS ARE BROKEN
YOU HAVE ARRIVED
Ever since the Winnipeg Arena became the home of the Jets, its parking problems have been legendary.
The Marketing Brochure: “Deals will be made”
All that will change at the new Manitoba Entertainment Complex with a new structure parking facility offering reserved parking for owners of Premium Seating and direct access into the facility. Each Luxury Suite comes with 2 parking spaces. Every group of four Club Seats will have the opportunity to purchase one reserved parking space; sold on a first-come, first-serve basis, subject to availability.
After you reach the arena, escalators and elevators will carry you to the Club Level, a concourse designed exclusively for owners of these special seats. From the very first moment that you and your guests step onto the private concourse, you will know that you have arrived.
The Luxury Suites provide owners with all of the amenities that they expect and nothing less. Each suite will be fully equipped with a television monitor and telephone service, everything necessary to keep in touch with the outside world.
In addition, for those times when you wish to conduct business meetings in your suite, facsimile and copier services are available on the Club Level in the Business Lounge. Equipment such as VCR machines will also be available for use in your suite simply by making reservations with your concierge.
With one telephone call you will be able to offer your guests an array of delights, and easily perform as the perfect host - from arranging a complete in-suite buffet with hot entrees and hors d’oeuvres to a concierge service ready to make reservations at the members’ club for drinks or dinner.
There are a maximum of fifty-two (52) Luxury Suites. Initially Suite holders will be offered the option of selecting seating arrangements to accommodate 10, 12 and 14 guests.
Sliding glass doors separate your “living room” from the individual fan attending the game. Equipped with a refrigerator, wet bar, ice maker and private coat closet, your suite reflects your ability to entertain your guests in style. An abundance of beautifully designed private restrooms will be located just outside your door for the exclusive use of premium seat owners such as yourself.
In addition to the fixed seating directly facing the action, a comfortable “living room” area complete with couches, cocktail table and buffet table are a permanent part of your furnishings and provide a relaxed atmosphere to entertain clients before, during and after the game.
Each suite includes tickets to all Winnipeg JETS games, excluding playoffs, as well as tickets to the other shows and events hosted at the arena. The price of each luxury suite will include tickets to at least two (2) nights of every show or event scheduled. Tickets to additional consecutive performances will be available at an additional cost.
Luxury suite will be licensed for a variety of terms depending on location and price of suite.
Owners of Club Seating at the new Manitoba Entertainment complex will enjoy more than just the view from the best seats in the house - they will also share the amenities that their private membership in the Club provides:
* access to a separate, restricted concourse exclusively for the use of Club Members;
* a private restaurant and club lounge to entertain guests before the game;
* in-seat waiter service during events;
* club level concierge desk.
In total, there will be approximately 2500 Club Seats available at the new Manitoba Entertainment Complex. Each of these seats has been designed to provide greater leg room, more comfort, easy access and convenient covered parking (subject to availability).
Each Club Seat purchase includes all pre-season and regular season JETS games. Owners also have first right option to purchase tickets for all other events.
WELCOME TO THE “CLUB MEMBERS ONLY”
The opportunity to purchase Premium Seating at the new MEC opens the door to the privileges that “members only” will receive. Your Premium Seating allows your executives, employees, and clients to meet in a distinguished atmosphere - a place where deals will be made, friendships created, and long-term business relationships established.
Members only will have the privilege of dining at the private club before or during the game and sharing the mouth-watering entrees and beautiful decor with their guests - a growing list of who’s who in Winnipeg business, sports and entertainment.
And if you want to enjoy the same great food, drinks and company while catching the action on the ice, you may either be served at your Club Seator in your private luxury suite by our professional catering staff and host; simply by presenting your membership card when ordering and charging to your personal account.
Membership has its privileges. Make Premium Seating a part of your home advantage. For further information on Premium Seating or to make an appointment to speak with our Club Sales representative, please call (204) 987-9600.
“GO DECISION PLAN”
Manitoba Entertainment Complex Inc, (MEC) was formed as a direct result of meetings in late June, 1994 with the Premier, [Federal] Minister [Lloyd] Axworthy and the Mayor. Together with the three governments, MEC agreed to launch one last initiative to establish a multipurpose entertainment and sports complex in the downtown of Winnipeg, with the Jets as the major tenant.
MEC’s members, whose businesses and corporations represent a major part of our economy, have volunteered their time, resources and expertise to develop and facilitate an important community amenity in Winnipeg. MEC has undertaken to do the following by May 1, 1995:
* proceed with Entertainment complex - secure all commitments and approvals required to open a new arena by fall, 1997, with seating of approx 16,000.
* secure the Winnipeg Jets as an anchor tenant.
* acquire Majority Owners’ Interests.
PROGRESS TO DATE
- MEC has secured a new option agreement which allows MEC (or its nominee) to acquire the majority owners’ 64% interest in the Jets for $32 Million on or before May 1, 1995, provided that there is a commitment at that time to construct the new complex with the Jets as a major tenant.
- MEC’s Marketing Committee has completed an intensive marketing campaign which has confirmed corporate, business and community support for premium seating to sustain the Jets in a new downtown entertainment complex. More than 50% of the premium seats have been sold. Premium Seating - over 1600 of the ~3100 premium and club seats; more than $6 M has been committed for annual contracted long term gross revenue by the premium seats; more than $5 M has been committed towards one-time payments for construction of the building - based on 40 suites sold plus over 1100 club seats, one time payment commitments now exceed $5.6 M. Based on the results after only 7 weeks, MEC is confident all 3100 premium seats will be sold out before the new facility opens in the fall of 1997. (Projected revenue: $10.6 M for 97/98 and $9.9 M for projected one time payments towards building costs.) Pre-sales achieved to date for premium seats confirm the reasonableness of projected season ticket sales prior to fall, 1997. In only a few weeks, the 28 suite target initially suggested in the Mauro report had been surpassed. Average suite annual revenue commitments have been secured in excess of levels suggested in either the Burns or Mauro reports. The local community purchased over 45% of all club seats to be provided in the new facility, including over 85% of the 580 Club 1 seats (the most expensive).
Entertainment Complex Design and Costing
- MEC’s Building Committee has completed extensive work on initial design and costing of the entertainment complex. A comprehensive comparison was provided of two downtown sites which concludes that Portage Avenue East (near the Forks) provides best site. Dominion Hunt was selected as a result of a competitive process, as the design/build construction manager for the project, with Smith Carter and Sink Combs Dethlefts as architects. Various pre-development engineering and planning studies for the Portage East site have been completed by DS-Lea Consultants and others. Dominion Hunt has provided and Initial Guaranteed Maximum Price. Plans have been developed to proceed after a January “go” decision with the engineering, design, costing and approvals work for the project to proceed as required to meet the May 1, 1995 option date and the June, 1995 construction start deadlines.
- MEC’s finance committee has worked with a wide range of parties to asess the feasibility of the proposed project and to select the most appropriate financing, ownership and development plans. MEC has been working with Richardson Greenshields of Canada Ltd, CIBC/Wood Gundy and other financial advisors.
COMMUNITY BENEFITS FROM MEC’S PROPOSAL
The proposed private sector/public sector partnership will be designed to yield the following significant benefits to the City and Provincial community.
* Ability to Attract Private Capital: The private sector will provide over $110 M of capital required for this project. Numerous reports have previously concluded that the existing Winnipeg Arena, built in 1954, must be replaced.
* Significant Downside Protection for the City and Province: MEC’s plan will provide Winnipeg and Manitoba the opportunity to retain the Jets with no commitment to fund future losses beyond June 30, 1997.
* Highly Superior Arrangements Over the 1991 Deal: The MEC plan will provide for all facility debt financing to be free of government guarantees; it will also provide for the City/Province to earn a portion of the cash flow in the project related to its current interest in the Team and loss coverage.
The MEC plan will provide a new facility without government guaranteed debt, eliminate the management fee, and give the City/Province cash flow entitlement which will in future repay the projected 95/96 and 96/97 loss.
Public Sector Comfort Level: In addition to the significant downside protection provided to the City and Province, the MEC plan provide that City commitments will be subject to sourcing and securing on/before May 1, 1995, the necessary long term debt and private equity. Accordingly, there is a built-in “reality check” in that these private sector funds must be committed before public sector commitments are crystallized.
BASIC FACTS AND INFORMATION ABOUT MANITOBA ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX INC.
MEC is made up of more than forty Manitoba business and community leaders whose goal is to establish a multipurpose entertainment and sports complex in the downtown with the Winnipeg Jets as the major tenant.
* Chairperson - John Loewen, President & Chief Executive Officer of Comcheq Services Limited
* Mal Anderson, CEO Credit Union Central of Manitoba
* Stuart Murray, President & CEO, Domo Gasoline Corporation Ltd
* Hartley Richardson - President, James Richardson & Sons Limited
* Sandy Riley, President &CEO, Investors Group Inc
* Robert I Silver, President, Western Glove Works Limited
MEC GENERAL MEMBERSHIP REPRESENTS SOME OF MANITOBA’S LARGEST AND MOST SUCCESSFUL COMPANIES
MEC’S ROLE: TO SUPPORT AND FACILITATE
MEC WAS FORMED AS A RESULT OF THE MAURO AND BURNS RECOMMENDATIONS
MEC HAS THE EXCLUSIVE OPTION TO BUY THE JETS
As a first step towards building the new arena, MEC realized it was essential to obtain and agreement with the majority owners of the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club. This was secured and allows MEC or its nominees to acquire the majority owners’ interest on/before May 1, 1995.
This agreement permits new owners to acquire the existing private-owners’ 64% interest in the Jets for $32M, provided that on/before May 1, 1995 there is a commitment to construct the new complex with the Jets as the anchor tenant.
HAS PROCEEDED BY USING THE BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND EXPERTISE
To obtain professional opinion on facility design, MEC has been working with Smith Carter architects and engineering consultants. Smith Carter and MEC have reviewed approaches by three sports-entertainment facility design firms and are now going forward with Smith Carter as architectural consultant in association with Sink Combs Dethlefts of Denver, Colorado.
Sink Combs Dethlefts is a recognized leader in the design of sport and entertainment facilities throughout the United States and Canada and are the designers of the new 20,000 seat arena in San Jose, the Fargodome and the Victor Copps Colisum in Hamilton.
Together with DS-Lea Consultants Ltd., the architects have studied the potential of downtown sites and facility concepts to provide professional and informed input to future decisions about site, design and marketing.
MEC has now presented results of its site analysis to each level of government and on Sept 26, 1994 to the general public at a media briefing.
MEC IS FOCUSED ON LONG-TERM VALUE TO THE COMMUNITY
MEC emphasizes its goal is much more than building a new public-use facility of maintaining the Jets. The project is important for the future of Winnipeg ad Manitoba and must be designed with broad-based, long-term benefits for the community. In theend, the facility will be only feasible if the necessary private and public support can be generated.
As a community we must exhaust all possibilities, and ask Manitobans and Winnipeggers to demonstrate their commitment to improving their community. If we don’t do this we will be establishing an unsettling precedent affecting the future success of other community-based initiatives that enhance our quality of life and involve partnerships between the public and private sector.
TIME IS RUNNING OUT...THIS WILL ONLY WORK IF EVERYONE IS INVOLVED NOW
Above all, this is a community project and everyone must be given the chance to participate personally, through their company or organization, or with groups of friends or colleagues. This will need to be done by purchasing suites, club seating, regular seating, advertising, sponsorships, or getting involved in the commercial opportunities that will be available. This kind of real, committed and confirmed community support must be in place by the end of November 1994.
This is Winnipeg’s last chance for this project. It’s now or never.
For more information, please contact:
Manitoba Entertainment Complex
Phone: (204) 987-9600