Winnipeg Jets: Can the Jets Sustain the Fan Support If They Do Not Perform?

John BainCorrespondent IIOctober 9, 2011

A new wave of Jets fans pack the MTS Centre to Capacity; gone is the White Out and in the Jet of Blue
A new wave of Jets fans pack the MTS Centre to Capacity; gone is the White Out and in the Jet of Blue

The Jets have finally returned to Winnipeg and so have the Jets faithful. The party at the Forks in Winnipeg has been packed to capacity since Thursday, and Winnipeg is set to host their first home game since April 28, 1996. One thing is for certain, the crowd will be insane, and just as ready as the players and True North ownership group to get this franchise started off on the right foot with a victory over the visiting Montreal Canadiens. The question is how long does this fan support last.

Yes, the Jets have sold out every game this season, and likely will for several seasons to come, but just because you sell out an arena doesn't mean the fans are really supporting the franchise. Sure they are supported financially, but it is possible for fan support to diminish even when attending games. This question is asked because the Jets have a very difficult season ahead of them. 

Not only do the Jets players have to get acclimated to living in a new city, and for some a new country, but also a whole different world of travel. The Jets will be playing one last season in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference in 2011-12, and it marks a long year of travel and seemingly struggles in the win column for the Jets. If the Jets get off to a poor start whether it be due to travelling, lack of talent, or any other reasons, will fan support be there 110% just like it is now prior to their first regular season game in 15 years, or will there be a drop off. 

Obviously the fans won't be behind the team 100% all season, no fan base can do that, but how will Jets fans handle a losing season in the first year of the team’s new existence? The fans can say all they want about how much they love their new team, but if management doesn't make immediate improvements to a team that is seemingly destined to struggle it will be interesting to see if the Jets can sustain the immeasurable support they have coming into their inaugural season since the move from Atlanta.