Manitoba

MTS Centre gets new beer, bathrooms and lounges

Construction workers were still putting the finishing touches on two new lounges at the MTS Centre, just hours before the Winnipeg Jets were set to take the ice in the first pre-season game of 2014.

$6-million upgrade sees added bathrooms, restaurants and beer types added to MTS Centre

Kevin Donnelly, True North’s senior vice president of venues and entertainment, says more upgrades are coming to the MTS Centre and will be finished by 2020. (Teghan Beaudette/CBC)
Construction workers were still putting the finishing touches on two new lounges at the MTS Centre, just hours before the Winnipeg Jets were set to take the ice in the first pre-season game of 2014.
      1 of 0

      True North Sports and Entertainment has spent $6 million on upgrading the 300 level for fans.

      Heroes, a new bar with a rib-carving station and place to eat, went in near the southeast balcony and not far away near the southwest balcony The Tower went in.

      The full-service bar will offer food and a view – the lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows.

      “This was just open air space before,” said Kevin Donnelly, True North’s senior vice president of venues and entertainment. “The idea sort of percolated for about three or four years, and we pulled the pin.”

      More beer, more bathrooms

      The MTS Centre has also expanded the types of beers offered to visitors.

      “The new beers are Stella, Corona, Shocktop, Rolling Rock and Keith,” he said. “Keiths [was here before], the rest were not. If they were available, they were available at suite level only.”
      The Tower, a new restaurant and lounge at the MTS Centre, has floor-to-ceiling windows and will sell several new types of beer including Stella Artois and Shocktop. (Teghan Beaudette/CBC)

      With more beer, also comes more bathrooms.

      True North has upped the number of men’s stalls from 36 to 75 while women’s went up from 44 to 57.

      “We did notice tremendous lineups at this end of the building,” he said. “[We] feel that this really will do a significant job in moving people out of these lineups and back into enjoying the game.”

      Women’s washrooms were also moved to a busy hallway to avoid long lineups of men in that spot, Donnelly said.

      “It depends on the event. When we have Michael Buble or different concert events, there’s far more women, but for hockey, the number is skewed to more males,” he said. “For sure for hockey you need to accommodate the male patron.”

      He said there are more actual stalls with doors for women than men, but with the number of urinals added, men have more options.

      More work on the way

      Suite visitors also have a new lounge just for them, and the ground-level Jets Gear Store was expanded.

      “The Eatons window that used to be here, it’s now been removed and donated to the museum and this new lounge we’ve created for suite patrons will be open tonight for the first time,” said Donnelly.

      The renovations started at the end of last season, and more work is on the way.

      True North plans to spend a total of $40 million by 2020.