ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT WINNIPEG INC. BELIEVES NHL'S RETURN WILL RESULT IN A BOOST TO THE TOURISM ECONOMY

May 20, 2011: Winnipeg, MB – As the city dances in the streets and a resounding cheer echoes across Winnipeg, only one thing could make everyone this excited—the return of the NHL. Fifteen years after the beloved Jets were sent off in a wake of tears and broken hearts, Winnipeg may soon be welcoming a new team home.

With the news, comes the realization that an NHL franchise in Winnipeg will mean a stronger, more vibrant city that attracts new visitors and puts Winnipeg in the spotlight. Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. believes the return not only will be a boon to our economy but will also go a long way to boosting the collective spirit of our city.

“A major sports franchise like this one will raise the international profile of our city,” says Marina R. James, President and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. “Combine this news with landmarks like The Forks, Canadian Museum for Human Rights and Upper Fort Garry and Winnipeg becomes a pivotal destination for visitor engagement.”

More than 2.6 million people already visit Winnipeg each year accounting for $167 to $337 per day in direct spending and $481 million in annual spending, thus more visitors will have a profoundly positive impact on the city’s economy.

Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. also believes an NHL team could help with youth retention and increase property values in the vicinity of the MTS Centre, particularly if its arrival is planned in conjunction with the proposed Sports, Entertainment and Hospitality District. As more attention is drawn to the area, Winnipeg’s core could see a revival that results in a dense urban environment that attracts numerous visitors—the result being a healthier and more vibrant city overall.

“Imagine a downtown core that teems with life and excitement—that’s the potential future for Winnipeg. The NHL’s return will boost the collective pride and spirit of our city and its citizens,” says Chantal Sturk-Nadeau, Vice President of Tourism Winnipeg. “It will raise our profile and put us on the international map, allowing us to capture multi-market tourism opportunities and generating a greater economic impact for our city. This is a truly monumental moment for Winnipeg.”

About Economic Development Winnipeg Inc.
Led by a private sector board, Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. is an arm’s-length organization focused on economic development and tourism development. Economic Development Winnipeg Inc. promotes our city as an ideal place to live, play, work, invest and visit through economic development and tourism-related initiatives.

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For more information contact:
Nisha Tuli
Manager, Communications and Media Relations
Economic Development Winnipeg Inc.
P: 204.954.1977
nishat@economicdevelopmentwinnipeg.com
 

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