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The arts are no match for the Jets in Winnipeg

Jets fans

The return of the Jets has been great for the city of Winnipeg, but in the NHL’s smallest market there are only so many entertainment dollars to go around. And according to the Globe and Mail, fewer of those dollars are being spent on cultural outings.

Probably not a coincidence.

Since the Jets returned home this season to huge fanfare, large arts institutions such as the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Manitoba Opera have all reported drops in attendance.

Fewer than a million people live in the prairie city, so adding a major-league franchise was bound to have an effect.

Kevin Donnelly, senior vice-president of True North Sports and Entertainment – the owner of the Jets and the MTS Centre where they play – doesn’t pretend the NHL isn’t a factor.

“You have to admit there is new competition for people’s time and attention and of course money,” Donnelly told the Globe.

No truth to the rumor the Royal Winnipeg Ballet is in talks to relocate to Glendale.