Manitoba

Jets street party becomes tickets-only event

Fans will need a ticket to experience the next Winnipeg whiteout.

Whiteout capped at 27,000 fans — tickets already scarce an hour after being made available, website says

You'll need a ticket to get into another party like this one. (John Woods/Canadian Press)

Fans will need a ticket to experience the next Winnipeg whiteout — though it might be a challenge to get one.

True North Sports & Entertainment put 27,000 free tickets up for grabs at noon Friday for the next street party Saturday at 4 p.m. CT. 

Just an hour after their noon CT release, Ticketmaster's website listed the tickets for the street party as "not many left."

The tickets can be downloaded with no service fee at the Ticketmaster website, True North officials said. 

The next Whiteout Street Party will be capped at 27,000 people. (Byren Gregorchuk/@fortheloveofwinnipeg/Instagram)

The Jets, in collaboration with Economic Development Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Police Service, decided to make the event a ticketed affair to ensure fans are not turned away at the gate.

"We want to make sure that people ... come downtown and don't get disappointed," said Dayna Spiring, president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg, at a news conference Friday.

"We look forward to one heck of a street party tomorrow and one heck of a Game 1 in the western final."

A ticketed party lets security, police and hospitality teams better plan for the expected surge of white-clad supporters, the team said.

Party area expands

The club expects more fans will be clamouring for the street party after the Jets secured a berth in the Western Conference final on Thursday.

Puck drop for the first game against the Vegas Golden Knights will be Saturday at 6 p.m. CT.

Fans can secure a maximum of eight tickets per order for the first pair of street parties. The sanctioned outdoors whiteout will again cap the family area at Millennium Library to 3,000 people. 

Spiring acknowledged some people might try to make money off their free ticket, but she felt the new initiative remains necessary.

"We needed to find a way to make sure that people don't get disappointed and we need to make sure that we can keep people safe," she said. 

People attending the game at Bell MTS Place can use their game ticket to join the outdoors whiteout before the on-ice battle starts.

Fans celebrate at a previous whiteout street party. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

Kevin Donnelly, vice-president of True North Sports & Entertainment, said officials are enlarging the party's footprint by incorporating a parking lot north of Graham Avenue, but are not increasing the party's capacity.

The new security measure ensures Winnipeg police can deploy appropriate resources, Insp. Dave Dalal said.

"For us, it's really about predictability," he said. "We need to plan our operations for this party and we need to still maintain operations on the street — every citizen still needs a police car to come" to an emergency.

Game tickets are available for purchase on Ticketmaster.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ian Froese

Provincial Affairs Reporter

Ian Froese covers provincial politics and its impact for CBC Manitoba. He previously reported on a bit of everything for newspapers. You can reach him at ian.froese@cbc.ca.

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