Back in 1996, there were a lot of things that were different in the world.
The economy in the United States was expanding and booming while the economy in Canada, especially in Winnipeg, was struggling.
This led to several issues because the NHL teams are required to pay their player's salaries in U.S. dollars, which was an issue because the team's revenues in Canada were all in the much weaker Canadian Dollar.
Well, with the passage of 15 years, things have definitely changed.
Winnipeg's economy has grown, while the United States is still trying to recover from an economic collapse, and it is taking time.
With a stronger economy in Winnipeg, more people are working and earning a good living. With more people earning good money, that means more people have more money to spend.
Given the fact that this city has been clamoring for a hockey team ever since the Jets left, and with the success of the AHL franchise (the Manitoba Moose), it seems very likely that the residents of Winnipeg will have no trouble filling the stands.
And while the economy in Winnipeg has slowed a bit, the introduction of a major professional team coming back to the city bodes well.