Thursday, May 07, 2009

From the Globe and Mail:

Former Winnipeg mayor Susan Thompson, who spent 18 months negotiating to keep the Jets in the city and shed tears at the press conference announcing that team couldn't be saved, says the market still can't support a team here.

"It takes that critical mass of population that we don't have," she said. "It was a loss. It was a sad time for our community. But you just have to get past it."

This differs greatly from the way I remember it.

Susan Thompson, who was the mayor of Winnipeg at the time, did not do enough to save the Jets. All she did was cry at the press conference announcing they would be leaving. She cried because she probably felt guilty for not doing enough. Sure she can cover it up saying oh, just get past it. But no. Someone on youtube makes this point:

"In 1996, Winnipeg's mayor Susan Thompson spent $130 million of taxpayer money to prepare for the 1999 Pan American Games instead of building an arena for the Jets. The Pan-Am funds were used to improve roads and clean up Winnipeg for the 16-day event. Years later, the $130 million Winnipeg spent has amortized into nothing. Susan Thompson was thinking short-term instead of long-term. The benefits of an arena and a NHL team can be had for decades, while the benefits of new paint and fixed roads were felt for less then a single decade. Had Winnipeg not had such an incompetent mayor at the time, an arena would have been built long ago, and the Jets would still in Winnipeg"

Nobody cares or cared about the Pan-Am games. If Winnipeg had built a proper arena at the time, the Jets would still be around. It has nothing to do with the size of the metropolitan population. Our current arena is one of the top concert draws in North America. It could have been made to have 1000 more seats but whatever, its still better than the old Winnipeg Arena.

She said the NHL was "greedy".. well DUH. But the difference between cities that still have teams and those that don't? They built the damn arena. She didn't. She was too busy stuffing her face with food at Folklorama pavillions.

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