Bell MTS Place – Winnipeg Jets
After last spring’s playoff run (2018), where the city of Winnipeg broke into a feverish whiteout, fans in Winnipeg have come to expect a certain brand of highly skilled, fast-paced hockey. The Jets have continued to deliver for the 15, 294 passionate fans that pack Bell MTS Place for each home game. Fans expect more big results from their team this 2019 season here in Winnipeg and the atmosphere at Bell MTS Place continues to be one of the best.
The venue itself has evolved since 2014 to be more representative of its main tenant, the Winnipeg Jets. True North Sports and Entertainment’s 2020 Plan has successfully brought the building up to what they feel is NHL standards. The aviator theme of blue and steel colours are now prominent in everything from floor to ceiling – including this year’s (2019) third jersey, the Aviator Jersey. New accent lighting, flooring, and signage in the concourses pull fans into the aviator theme of the Jets.
If you have not been to a Winnipeg Jets or Manitoba Moose game (Winnipeg’s AHL affiliate also plays out of BellMTS Place) in the last few years, you likely will not recognize the building today. Gone are any remnants from the appearance of the building when it first opened. Most noticeable to fans are the new seating (installed in the summer of 2016), the new loge seating, the massive HD scoreboard and Power Ring around the base of the 300 level (all installed in the summer of 2015) and the seamless glass railings which are less obstructive to fan views (installed in the summer of 2016). There are also over 400 HD LED monitors throughout the building so fans in the concourses should not miss a moment of action.
Fans attending a game at Bell MTS Place should arrive early to soak in the atmosphere and partake in the variety of food options available. Reservations can be made in advance for a pre-game meal at the Observation Deck Bar and Buffet. Fans may also want to mingle and meet up with friends in the Portage Avenue atrium. This meeting area continues to be open to fans from both the lower and upper bowls during intermissions as well. If you can leave your seat early enough to easily get there, this is a good spot to meet up with friends at the game. There are some food options available here too but mostly people use it as a place to meet.
While small in size, Bell MTS Place has all the amenities sports fans could want. Washroom facilities are clean, accessible and easy to find. A large selection of food options exists on all concourses, one of the many improvements TNSE has made over the years. Check out the options available on the BellMTS website here.
Inside the arena, the Jets’ game-day production is second to none. There is never a break in the entertainment and there are lots of interactive opportunities for fans to enjoy.
Located in downtown Winnipeg, Bell MTS Place’s location gives patrons plenty of parking options. Portage Place, Cityplace, the Millennium Library and the new Alt Hotel all offer parkade parking in the direct vicinity of Bell MTS Place. Lots of other options exist that allow fans to use and access BellMTS Place through the extensive indoor walkway system that exists downtown. Fans can park as far away as the Richardson Building at Portage and Main and walk indoors to Bell MTS Place – important for many during Winnipeg’s winter!
Fans may also want to check out other options in the downtown area such as Tavern United, The Met which is both right across the street from Bell MTS Place. Other popular places include Shark Club, Za Pizza Bistro and Boston Pizza (all located in City Place which is connected to Bell MTS Place). Several other popular options are two to three blocks away from BellMTS Place such as Yellow Dog Tavern on Donald St., Rudy’s Eat and Drink on Graham Ave., Elephant and Castle Pub and Restaurant on St. Mary Ave. and Shannon’s Irish Pub on Carlton St.
Food & Beverage 5
Pre-game options inside include the Exchange Restaurant and Beer Market located on the Event Level of the building. The Exchange is open 90 minutes before puck drop and is a good spot to meet before, during or after the game. Moxie’s is also located on site and offers fans direct entry into the arena from the restaurant when they are ready to leave. BellMTS also offers pre-game dining at The Observation Deck Bar and Buffet.
Once the puck has dropped, there are many options for those looking to grab some food and beverages. Fans can chow down on everything from hot dogs, burgers, fries and poutine, carvery stations, and of course popcorn and chips. If you are up for it, try the Jumbo Jet Dog – a fan favourite. This monster dog, modeled after the hot dogs served at the old Winnipeg Arena, comes with your choice of additional toppings that include chili, bacon bits, pierogie pieces, or nacho cheese. The Jumbo Jet Dog will set you back about ten bucks plus $1.75 for each additional topping, but if you are hungry, this is the best for you – or share it with a friend!
Food options on the concourses also include two locations of Freshii (outside sections 109 and 321), three locations of Pizza Pizza (outside sections 113, 121 and 319) and Tim Hortons (outside sections 111, 121, 305 and 319). Fans should also check out Bella Pasta where you can mix and match pasta and sauce options (outside sections 113 and 308). BellMTS’s concourse also offers Carvery & Melts outside sections 112 and 310 for those looking for a fresh smoked meat sandwich and Gourmet Burger outside sections 112 and 301 for all your burger and fixings needs. Check out all the info on Bell MTS Place’s website here.
The atmosphere at Bell MTS Place is arguably one of the best in the league. Fans are loud and proud. This is experienced right from the arrival of the Jets on the ice, giving them a loud round of applause followed by the first Go! Jets! Go! chant prior to the singing of the anthems. This continues during the anthem(s) when the building does the “True North” shout out during O Canada. This started in the first season the Jets were back as an acknowledgment and thank you to True North Sports and Entertainment who brought the NHL back to Winnipeg.
Fans are knowledgeable and quick to react to missed calls or unwarranted home team penalties. If you really want to experience the passion of Jets fans, sit in the 300 level. This is where many of the chants originate and it is much livelier up there than in the lower bowl.
Popular pre and post-game spots around Bell MTS Place include Tavern United on Graham Ave., Boston Pizza Cityplace, Yellow Dog Tavern on Donald St., The Shark Club in Cityplace and The Metropolitan on Donald right across from Bell MTS Place. This recently renovated attraction boasts a massive screen, dining, and comfort for those that want to pre-game, post-game or catch a game when the Jets are on the road. Don’t forget about the pre-game options available inside of Bell MTS Place. Both the Exchange Restaurant and the Observation Deck take online reservations, so you can plan ahead.
While options abound for the pre-gamers, Bell MTS Place’s central downtown location makes for easy access and lots of options. Traffic before and after a game is never really an issue as there are many routes in and out of the downtown area. Winnipeg’s SHED (Sports, Hospitality and Entertainment District) district is beginning to provide lots of options for fans and visitors alike.
Fans coming from out of town have many options for accommodations right downtown near Bell MTS Place. Alt Hotel Winnipeg is right across the street on Portage Avenue. One block east is the Radisson Hotel Winnipeg Downtown, and to the southwest is the Delta Hotel Winnipeg. More historic options include the Marlborough Hotel and the Fort Garry Hotel which are both within walking distance, but a little further out. Visitors wanting to check out a game and see other attractions may want to stay near The Forks. Inn At The Forks offers a premium location at The Forks National Historic Site, right next to the Canadian Museum For Human Rights.
Jets fans blow the criteria for the FANFARE scale out of the water. Fans can be heard reacting to penalty calls, chanting the opposition goalie’s name, creating unique and intelligent chants and, of course, cheering on their team as loudly as they can. Fans are knowledgeable about their home team and about the opposing team as well. The fans at Bell MTS Place create a one of a kind atmosphere making the overall experience special. Fans will be decked out in their home blue Jets jerseys, white road jerseys, Heritage Classic jerseys or this 2019 season’s third jersey, the Aviator jersey. Visiting fans may want to consider the Jets Gear Store in Bell MTS Place or head to one of their other locations at St. Vital Centre, Polo Park, Kildonan Place or Bell MTS Iceplex to purchase some Jets merchandise if you want to look the part.
Jets fans are knowledgeable and are there to support their team – as well as give the opposing team a hard time. Chanting the opposition goalie’s name is common. Chants of “Go! Jets! Go!” are frequent throughout a game, usually starting in the upper deck and making their way down and throughout the arena.
If you are a fan who likes to cheer and get involved, get some seats in sections 309 – 315 as this is where many chants often originate. The upper deck is a more festive atmosphere than the lower bowl at Bell MTS Place. If you really want to participate in the game and have fun, grab some seats in the 300 level. If you are more of a sit and watch the game type of person, go for seats in the 100 or 200 levels.
Access to Bell MTS Place is easy. Situated on Winnipeg’s famous Portage Avenue between Donald and Hargrave, Bell MTS Place is easy to get to and easy to get home from after a game as well. It’s a remarkable change for anyone who ever saw a game at the old Winnipeg Arena. One need not leave early from the game to beat the traffic. Fans can stick around to the last whistle and enjoy every moment of the game. BellMTS Place is connected to Winnipeg’s extensive downtown indoor walkway system, so fans can park, leave jackets in the car and wear only their jerseys to the game while walking indoors. Check out the Downtown Winnipeg Biz’s parking map to see the many options around Bell MTS Place. The Downtown Winnipeg Biz also has a walkway map that is currently being updated. Here is a link to an older version.
Return on Investment 4
Prices are what one would expect for an NHL arena. Fans will pay more on site for food than elsewhere so a pre-game visit to a downtown restaurant or bar is a good option. The overall return on investment is decent. An evening at the game for two with food, beverage and parking will run you around $60 per seat for the cheapest seats and upwards of $180 for the most expensive. Of course, seats range in price depending on the opposition.
Games are grouped into an A, B or C and prices vary depending on this classification. Getting a ticket is another venture. Single Game Tickets are available from the Jets’ website through Ticketmaster or Winnipeg Jets Seat Exchange. Be wary of third-party sites selling tickets as the Jets have really tried to clamp down on this and there have been examples of fraudulent tickets being sold. Now in their seventh season, the availability of Jets tickets is increasing and there are more seats available than there have been in the past. Visitors coming to a game should check the Jets Seat Exchange. Ticket information is available here on the Jets’ website.
There are several bonus points at Bell MTS Place. The facility itself is well thought out. Now entering its second decade, the building looks remarkably new thanks to constant renovations and additions. The views are good no matter where you sit and have been improved with the addition of seamless glass railings and the raising of seats in the upper level for improved sight lines.
The new large HD scoreboard scores bonus points for Bell MTS Place as well. It is easy to see from anywhere in the arena bowl. Be sure to get to your seat early enough to watch the Jets game-day production team’s build-up to puck drop. From historic video clips to game intro videos and highlights, the features prior to the game are worth watching.
Bonus points go to Bell MTS Place’s loge seating. If you are lucky enough to land a ticket here or know someone who has one, you are in for a treat. This recent addition hangs off the upper deck and provides one of the best views in Bell MTS Place. Like a small private box, complete with table service, seating is roomy and comfortable and includes a small counter in front for your food and beverages – perfect if you are going to attempt to chow down on a Jumbo Jet Dog.
The largest bonus points go to the Jets fans at Bell MTS Place. Players appreciate playing here and they hear the fans loud and clear as the building’s design has the fans sitting right over top the ice surface. As loud as it may seem to a fan in the stands, it is louder for a player on the ice.
Fans are knowledgeable and engaged. Reactions from the fans are quick, loud and smart. An opposing player who makes a mistake is often the target of sarcastic cheers. Good plays are quickly acknowledged by applause. Anything from a blocked shot to a nice move or even a smart move on a penalty kill are quickly acknowledged by the crowd. Fans appreciate the skill and good hockey. Even opposing players have received appreciative applause from time to time.
Fans at Bell MTS Place clearly enjoy the game – and enjoy being a part of it, any first-time visitor will tell you that the fans make the experience at a Jets game. Fans are welcoming and are always happy to make visiting fans feel welcome – especially if they are cheering for the home team.
Food and Drink Recommendations
Royal Canadian Mint
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Latest Crowd Reviews
One of the most pleasant surprises in the league. A very small capacity which is a plus/minus for fans. Plus - the place is always sold out. The minus - one of the most expensive ventures out there. The fan base is amazing. Totally engaged in the game and super loud at all the right times. There is a three minute warning for fans to return to their seats during intermission. The small building means it can get kind of cramped. They probably have a good goal song, but it is difficult to hear because it is so loud on a Jets goal!