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“Drive to 13,000” begins tomorrow as NHL sets return to Manitoba

by Hockey Manitoba  |  May 31, 2011 3:21 pm

Winnipeg – True North Sports & Entertainment Limited is pleased to announce it has entered into an agreement with Atlanta Spirit, LLC with respect to the purchase of the Atlanta Thrashers Hockey Club.

The purchase of the Thrashers will be subject to the National Hockey League Board of Governors approval at a Board meeting to be held on June 21. The approval of this transaction by the Board will, among other things, consider the level of support generated in the Winnipeg community during a season ticket campaign. Once the NHL Board of Governors approval is granted, the purchase of the Thrashers by True North Sports & Entertainment will be complete clearing the way for the NHL club to relocate to Winnipeg’s MTS Centre for the start of the 2011-2012 hockey season.

As part of today’s announcement, True North is excited to formally kick off its Drive to 13,000 season ticket sales campaign. The Drive to 13,000 campaign will consist of a presale as well as a general public onsale. The presale will provide existing Manitoba Moose Season Ticket Holders, Mini Pack Holders, and Corporate Advertising Partners with the opportunity to secure seats during an "advance window presale". All of these existing customers will be contacted immediately by email with instructions related to their account and purchase priority timelines and procedures.

The presale will officially start on Wednesday, June 1 at 1:00 p.m. and run to Friday, June 3 at 10:00 p.m. The general public onsale will commence on Saturday, June 4 at 12:00 p.m.

All those wishing to participate in the “Drive to 13,000” should visit to review the terms and conditions leading to the purchase of an NHL ticket in Winnipeg.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring the National Hockey League back to Winnipeg," said Mark Chipman, Chairman of the Board for True North Sports & Entertainment. "Given the passion for NHL hockey that we know exists amongst Manitoba fans, we have no doubt they will respond to our season ticket campaign and make the MTS Centre the permanent home of the franchise come the fall."

"The return of the National Hockey League to the city of Winnipeg represents a superb outcome," said David Thomson, Chairman of Thomson Reuters. "We are truly honored and cherish our association with True North. The franchise has always resonated with the community and reflects its aspirations both on and off the ice."

"True North Sports Entertainment has had a great run of building brands in the City of Winnipeg over the past six years, from the Manitoba Moose to MTS Centre to the recently completed MTS Iceplex," said Jim Ludlow, President & CEO, True North Sports & Entertainment. "This process has led us to today. We have made a commitment to the National Hockey League and to our ownership to sell 13,000 season tickets. It is with great anticipation that we look forward to the support from the Winnipeg community and the successful conclusion of this process."

"You can feel the excitement everywhere you go. There’s no denying it, Manitobans love hockey and the MTS Centre is a world class arena," said Manitoba Premier, Greg Selinger. "We’re proud to have played our part in supporting True North and I’m excited to be a part of the Drive to 13,000. Let’s bring the NHL back to Winnipeg."

Those interested in participating in the Drive to 13,000 Season Ticket campaign can go to for more details as well to place their deposit on season ticket packages.

In just over six years, MTS Centre has hosted over 1,000 events and welcomed over six million patrons to Manitoba Moose hockey and a multitude of world-class entertainment events. MTS Centre has risen as high as third in Canada and 19th in the world on Pollstar Magazine’s Top 100 list of arena venue ticket sales.

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Nov 2, 2005