“I’ve said this many times, this is a great city. This is a great hockey city. We have knowledgeable fans, and I love that. I think it’s a healthy pressure on everyone. – Rick Bowness (Jets Head Coach)
If there is one thing Winnipeg is known for internationally, it is our city’s NHL Hockey Team, The Winnipeg Jets. And although the team has had some rough go-arounds in the past, especially with covid restrictions eliminating the whiteout spirit, fans all over are excited to get back into the Winnipeg Tradition since 1987.
WHO ARE THE WINNIPEG JETS?
Founded in 1972 in the World Hockey Association (WHA), The Winnipeg Jets later became a professional Winnipeg-based ice hockey team in the National Hockey League (NHL) in 1979. However, after experiencing mounting financial issues, the Winnipeg Jets franchise left in 1996 and moved to Phoenix, becoming the Phoenix Coyotes (Arizona Coyotes).
About a decade later, True North Sports and Entertainment purchased the struggling NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers team in 2011—resurrecting the old Manitoban team name and paving the way for the return of the Winnipeg Jets!
Since then, the Winnipeg Jets have been persistent, proving that NHL hockey belongs in their city. Making the playoffs in 2015, 2018, 2019, and 2020, the Winnipeg team has had a pretty good playing streak and is to play in this year’s 2023 NHL playoffs!
WHAT IS THE WHITEOUT?
During the 1987 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Winnipeg hockey fans wore white clothing to a home playoff game versus the Calgary Flames. After being requested in response to the opposing team’s C of Red, which had Calgary fans wear all red clothing. In support of their home team, Winnipeg fans from all over joined in, creating a very intimidating atmosphere in the arena and a new Winnipeg Tradition. The tradition has since sparked events in the city for the fans, including the White Out Party.
WHAT IS THE WHITEOUT PARTY?
The Winnipeg Whiteout Parties occur before and during every Winnipeg Jets home playoff game. The Party is held outdoors in Downtown Winnipeg on Donald Street and continues until reaching the Canadian Life Centre, where the home games happen. The city closes the entire street to make way for the thousands of Jets fans gathering to watch the puck drop on large screens at either end of the road. Food, beverages, and merchandise are available for purchase on-site from several of the vendors, food trucks, and kiosks there.
The street parties begin two hours before the game, and feature DJs, guest hosts, and other entertainment to create an energetic atmosphere. For many, the White Out Parties are what most are always excited about, as it is the best way to understand and immerse yourself in hockey and the city’s culture.
2023 WHITE OUT STREET PARTY
Unfortunately, fans must purchase tickets beforehand to attend the Whiteout Party. As of the publishing of this article, tickets for the White Out Party are all sold. The first Party’s tickets went on sale Monday, April 17th, with half of the ticket sale’s revenue going back into the community through United Way Winnipeg. Jets owners True North Sports and Entertainment also announced a second event in True North Square, with a thousand tickets available for $20 each.
The anticipation for this year’s playoffs has been at an all-time high in Winnipeg, and the sold-out Whiteout Party tickets show just how excited fans are to come back for another year sporting their whiteout spirit. For those who were early in purchasing those tickets, expect to feel a great sense of community and camaraderie at the Street Party.
And, for those who would much rather be at home watching the games, remember to join the thousands of Winnipeggers in rooting for the home team by wearing white.
Go Jets Go!
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Your Vialux Team