The original Jets franchise began playing in Winnipeg with the short-lived World Hockey Association in 1972, gaining instant credibility when they signed the already legendary Bobby Hull. In 1979, the Jets became a part of the NHL and enjoyed loyal and enthusiastic fan support for many years. In 1996, the rising cost of the game and a weak Canadian dollar meant that the Jets were losing money despite fan support, and they were relocated to Phoenix, Arizona, where they became the Coyotes. Winnipeg remained a steadfast hockey town, supporting the minor league Manitoba Moose until 2011, when the Atlanta Thrashers were relocated to Winnipeg and, under new management and a new logo, took up the Jets' name.
The Jets' new home is the MTS Centre, an arena built on the site of the historic downtown Eaton's department store. Near many restaurants, theatres, museums, and other attractions of Winnipeg's bustling city centre, the MTS Centre's crowds contribute steadily to the city's economy. Despite being the smallest arena in the NHL, seating only 15,000, the MTS Centre is recognized as the loudest in the league—a tradition that Winnipeg fans brought with them from the old Winnipeg Arena. Jets fans have always had a commanding presence during games; another celebrated example is the aptly named Winnipeg White Out, a tradition which dictates that all fans wear white clothing to home playoff games, creating an intimidating atmosphere of solidarity and support for the home team. Time will tell if this tradition will also accompany the new Jets to the MTS Centre.