When the Winnipeg Jets take on the Minnesota Wild Monday night, fans will get their first look at the nearly $14 million in renovations made to the concourse at Bell MTS Place over the summer.
The renovations have seen new lighting, flooring, and signage added to the concourse, and the final result means the building's design and colour palette better matches the look of the team, says Kevin Donnelly, senior vice-president of venues and entertainment for True North Sports and Entertainment.
"It speaks to Jets' fans and it speaks to the whole Jet experience," said Donnelly during a tour of the building Monday.
The work has also seen an extra 150 television screens added — bringing the total number of televisions to 430 in the concourse — and new drink rails and seating added to the outer walls of the space.
It's hoped the new railing and seats will encourage patrons to move to the outer edge of the concourse, as part of an overall effort to better improve the flow of the concourse level for fans, says Donnelly.
"The flow of the audience can move around more effectively," he said."We've tried to address the entire patron experience and bring it to a whole new level."
To reduce lineups, 40 new points of sale and concession stands have been added, offering new menu options including a Freshii location and a better selection of beer.
True North has also added a new "Hat Trick Wall" to the concourse that marks the team's hat tricks by showcasing the caps thrown onto the ice to celebrate.
"When a hat trick is scored in the building and people throw their hats on to the ice, we've collected those and have put them in storage and now we're able to put them back on display," explained Donnelly. "So if you were one of those members of the audience that threw your hat onto the ice, come and see if you can find yours."
The work is part of $20 million in renovations True North had planned to have complete by 2020, but Donnelly said the work has grown in scope; they've already spent closer to $48 million.
Previously completed work included the addition of a new score clock and new seating, and Donnelly says the plans for next summer's renovations include an overhaul of the Exchange Restaurant at ice-level, enhancements to the public portions at ice-level, and renovations to the team's dressing rooms.