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Winnipeg Jets acknowledge issues with obstructed views, solutions are limited

Some Winnipeg Jets fans are frustrated by obstructed view from new loge seating at MTS Centre. Lorraine Nickel

WINNIPEG — MTS Centre made a lot of changes over the summer but fans were frustrated by one of the additions – the loge seating.

“We’re really upset, we really can’t believe it,” said seasons ticket holder, David Lawrence, “it seems so un-True North, so un-Winnipeg Jets.”

The new loge seats were built in the upper deck in the front row but at Tuesday night’s Jets versus Wild exhibition game, hundreds of fans in the upper deck were upset by their newly obstructed view of the ice.

“I was struggling to see the net during the game and it was just a big disappointment,” said Anick Spence.

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“We are in what you call the attack zone so the Jets attack our end two of the three periods and I can’t see the net,” said Ron Wersch.

Wersch sits in the front row in the upper deck and had a view that was clear from any obstructions for the last four seasons, but Tuesday Wersch sat down and was shocked to see he had several metal railings blocking his view.

Twitter and other social media sites lit up Tuesday night with photos and fans complaining about their obstructed views.

True North Sports and Entertainment say they’ve received phone calls and emails regarding the obstructed seats and will be contacting those fans that are the most affected.

“We do know there are some areas in the 300 level that we need to find some solutions with,” said Scott Brown, Director of Corporate Communications for TNSE.

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Brown says they were aware of the obstructed views prior to Tuesday’s game but didn’t alert fans ahead of time because they didn’t want them to go to the game “with their backs up”, instead they wanted fans to sit in their seats and tell them directly about the struggles in their seats.

Brown says they’re looking at a number of solutions including relocating fans but says they won’t be able to fix everyone’s obstructed view.

“We are a sold out building so the solutions are limited,” said Brown, “we’re willing to work with those people and figure out a way that works for everybody.”

He says they did not think there would be this many fans affected saying construction didn’t turn out exactly how they imagined, for example, the railing was supposed to be thinner but Brown says the current thickness of the rails are up to code.

“How obstructed it was going to be is something you can’t anticipate until you actually see it and unfortunately we didn’t get to see it until not too long ago.”

The Blue Bombers ran into similar issues when Investors Group Field was built. The thicker guard rails caused obstructed views and those seat prices were sliced in half, but Brown says there will not be price reductions for obstructed views at MTS Centre.

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