Atlanta Thrashers

Atlanta Thrashers  

Jets Timeline


Atlanta Thrashers Team Formation

After the departure of the IHL's Atlanta Knights 1992 to 1996 to become the Quebec Rafales, the city was awarded an NHL franchise on June 25, 1997, as part of a four-team tiered expansion. This also included teams in Nashville, Columbus and St. Paul, in which each new franchise would begin play as its respective new arena was completed. The birth of the new franchise marked NHL hockey's return to Georgia, as the Atlanta Flames, established in 1972, departed for Canada in 1980 to become the Calgary Flames.

New Ownership Atlanta Spirit

On September 21, 2003, Time Warner, the owners of both the Thrashers and the NBA's Atlanta Hawks, sold both teams to Atlanta Spirit, LLC, a group consisting of businessmen based both in Atlanta and elsewhere.

Moving to Winnipeg

Due to financial losses and ownership struggles, the team was frequently a target of relocation rumors. In later years, reports saw the team courted by suitors intending to relocate to Kansas City, Missouri; Quebec City, Quebec; Hamilton, Ontario or Winnipeg, Manitoba. On January 22, 2011, the team's ownership group claimed it had lost US $130 million in the last six years, partially as a result of an ongoing lawsuit with former partner Steve Belkin. In February 2011, majority owner Michael Gearon stated that the team would be seeking new investors. Various local groups announced their intent to purchase the franchise and keep it in Atlanta, but ultimately the team was sold to the Canadian group True North Sports & Entertainment.

On May 16, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that talks for a sale to True North Sports and Entertainment were underway. According to the Globe and Mail, a deal was finalized on May 20, 2011 to relocate the team to Winnipeg. The league later denied the report, but acknowledged that advanced negotiations between the two teams were underway and that commissioner Gary Bettman supported the move. Draft schedules were prepared that accommodated for the team's move to Winnipeg, as True North sought to move the AHL team that played in Manitoba, eventually moving that team to St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador in Atlantic Canada.

Record Sales of Tickets

Season ticket sales began June 1, 2011, with Manitoba Moose season ticket holders having priority. The team sought to sell 13,000 season tickets in an effort to prove its viability. Within the first three and a half hours the new franchise sold 1,870 packages to Moose season ticket holders. The number of season tickets sold jumped to 4,170 on June 2 and 7,158 on June 3. Season tickets opened to the general public on June 4 and sold out in just 17 minutes. Once the 'Drive to 13,000' was completed, TNSE started a season ticket waiting list, which was shut down after 8,000 people had signed up in two hours. In July 2011, tickets for the Oct 9 home opener versus the Montreal Canadiens were listed for an average price of $1,711 on Stubhub, with an average selling price of $713

True North stated that the announcement of the team's name would not be made until after the successful completion of the season ticket drive at the absolute earliest. The team was not to be named the Thrashers, since True North did not acquire the name in the transaction, and the rights to that name and the Thrashers logo were retained by the ownership group in Atlanta.

MTS Centre

The MTS Centre is an indoor sports arena and entertainment venue located at 300 Portage Avenue in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The arena is the home of the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League and previously served as the home of the American Hockey League's Manitoba Moose (now the St. John's IceCaps) from 2004 to 2011. Beginning in the fall of 2015, it will serve as the home of that same franchise again, as the Jets have announced they are relocating it to Winnipeg again.

Thrashers Primary Logo History Thrashers Alternate Logo History No Wordmark Logo History


Team Information Team History

Atlanta - Winnipeg

Thrasher - Owner Ted Turner christened his 1997 expansion team after the state bird of Georgia, the brown thrasher, called the Atlanta Thrashers.

MTS Centre
2011 - present

Philips Arena 
1999 - 2011

True North Sports and Entertainment
2011 - present
Atlanta Spirit, LLC
2003 - 2011
Time Warner
1999 - 2003

Established: 1999

League History:
National Hockey League
1999 - present

Team History:
Winnipeg Jets
2011 - present
Atlanta Thrashers
1999 - 2011

Stanley Cups: 0

Retired Numbers:
99 Wayne Gretzky

Mascots: 1999 - 2011
  *Red is this team's history

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