36,000 Winnipeggers flocked downtown to watch the Jets finish off the Minnesota Wild in game five of the opening round – over 19,000 of whom partied on the main drag of Donald Street and Graham Avenue.
For Tuesday’s and Thursday’s games against Central Division rival, the Nashville Predators, the Winnipeg Jets have announced that additional streets will be barricaded, expanding the outdoor party to wrap around two sides of the arena, and neighbouring streets.
Smith Street will be fully shut down, Graham Mall will be blocked off from Garry to Hargrave, while Donald will remain closed. The park surrounding the Millennium Library will also remain as a family area. More venders, Jets Gear stores, concession stands, and washrooms will be available at the party.
Five big-screens will be in place for the home games, including a brand new 36 by 22 foot monstrosity placed near the Portage/Donald arena entrance. The Winnipeg Whiteout street parties begin at 5:00 P.M. on Tuesday, and 7:00 P.M. central on Thursday. Games begin at 7:00 and 8:30 respectively.
Jets fans will also be treated to a surprise as a spokesman with the Canadian Armed Forces has confirmed to Game On Magazine that two CF-18 fighter jets will do a fly-by prior to puck drop on Tuesday.
Travelling over to Manitoba from Alberta in a matter of 20 minutes, the planes are expected to drop from 1,800 kilometres an hour down to their coasting speed of 400 kilometres an hour, before hammering the throttle on the afterburners as they fly over Donald Street in preparation for the start of game three.
Winnipeg faces off against Nashville in game two from Bridgestone Arena in Tennessee Sunday evening, as the Jets look to build off of their 4-1 victory in game one. They will once again go to battle without the services of Mathieu Perreault and Joel Armia – who were both injured in the opening round against Minnesota.
Puck drop from Nashville is set for 6:08 P.M. Sunday. The game can be viewed live on CBC.
By Carter Brooks
Photo by Jonathan Kozub