That 13,000 season tickets benchmark set by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman? Winnipeg NHL fans breezed past it 17 minutes after season tickets went on sale Saturday. This means there's officially just one step left for the Atlanta Thrashers to be moved to Manitoba, and it's only a formality: the June 21 Board of Governors vote.
Average attendance for the team's first Winnipeg season will thus likely near the MTS Centre's 15,015-seat capacity, meaning it will top Atlanta's four or five poorest-attended seasons.
A 2012 waiting list has already filled up too, meaning concerns about the team's future support may need to be delayed. The best-case scenario for Winnipeg is for the team to be adopted citywide a la the NFL's Green Bay Packers, and so far there's no evidence something similar won't happen.