Goodbye fake noise, hello whiteout: Winnipeg Jets ready for real fans in the stands – Winnipeg

For the primary time in a 12 months and a half, the Winnipeg Jets will play a regular-season dwelling recreation in entrance of hundreds of followers towards the Anaheim Geese Thursday night time.

Self-described Jets superfan Greg Burnett mentioned it was powerful to be avoided the world for therefore lengthy.

“Everybody has their joys and passions in life — some like gardening, some like journey — mine are occasions,” Burnett mentioned.

The highest of his occasions record contains going to just about each Jets dwelling recreation.

Since he couldn’t go final season due to COVID-19 guidelines, he tried to copy the reside recreation expertise at dwelling.

Greg Burnett in his Winnipeg Jets basement.


For the 2020-21 dwelling opener, Burnett took his household to his basement, which he pretended was a bar for a pre-game chunk to eat.

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“I’d be my watch, ‘Hurry up, end up, we bought to recover from to the rink,” Burnett mentioned.

The “rink” was his sofa, the place he handed out glow-in-the-dark sticks to the opposite followers — on this case, his spouse, daughters and mom.

“They had been me like I used to be type of loopy,” he mentioned.

Whereas Burnett was attempting to imitate the standard NHL recreation expertise, so was the Jets presentation staff.

Kyle Balharry, the senior director of recreation presentation at True North Sports activities and Leisure, mentioned though it was vital to provide off that conventional recreation vibe — with music, aim horns and pretend crowd noise — nothing can substitute actual individuals within the stands.

“The followers are natural, the followers begin chants out of nowhere, the followers get on the opposite staff,” Balharry mentioned.

Learn extra:
Jets’ Scheifele joins team captain in NHL COVID-19 protocol

On prime of the standard leisure Balharry is accountable for, his staff is bringing in some new parts this 12 months, together with a brand new on-ice projection system that can flip the ice floor into a large TV display.

“We did use it within the pre-season — gave (the followers) just a little little bit of a teaser — however within the common season we’ve bought some nice stuff deliberate,” he mentioned.

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Jets public deal with announcer and Energy 97 radio host Jay Richardson mentioned he’s a excited to have a crowd reacting to his bulletins once more.

He recollects quite a few final season’s largest moments that he wished a crowd might’ve been within the area for.

“Saying, ‘Final minute of play,’ in a recreation the Jets are clearly successful within the third interval, and to get that response from the group, it sends shivers down my backbone each single time and it was lacking badly final 12 months,” Richardson mentioned.

Power97 is owned by Corus Leisure, which additionally owns International Information.

Solely totally vaccinated followers with a QR code and ID will probably be allowed inside Canada Life Centre.

The staff is encouraging followers to get to the world early Thursday to absorb the complete four-hour expertise.

© 2021 International Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.

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