What more could cheap, hockey loving, Winnipeggers ask for?
With Jacob Trouba’s opening goal, just 31 seconds into Friday’s contest against the Minnesota Wild, the sold-out crowd at Bell MTS Place nearly blew the roof off the arena. The Winnipeg Whiteout street party on the neighbouring streets cranked its volume up to 11.
With nearly every viewer wearing some piece of white Jets apparel, clothing, face paint, hair dye, or costume, the party in Winnipeg reached new levels Friday night.
Winnipeg Police announced that over 36,000 attendees made their way to Bell MTS Place and the surrounding street party Friday afternoon/evening. With crowds of 11,000 and 14,000 at the outdoor parties for games one and two, the game five whiteout bash saw over 20,000 people in attendance, helping the Jets celebrate a 4-1 series victory over the Wild.
Following the final whistle, the street party collectively made its way down Portage Avenue to Main Street, as the iconic intersection – Portage and Main – was closed to vehicular traffic for 45 minutes, until the party died down.
Winnipeg Police sent out a statement thanking the city for not only coming out to support the local NHL team, but doing so in a respectful way. Police reported that there were no instances of damage to property, and only 12 arrests for public intoxication.
Winnipeg will resume its chase for Lord Stanley’s mug next weekend as the Jets will do battle with the winner of the Colorado/Nashville first round series. Nashville currently leads three-games-to-two.
By Carter Brooks
Photos by Jeff Miller and Carter Brooks