By Carter Brooks
Long after the playoffs have ended, the Winnipeg experience lives on.
Deafening, comical and impactful have been three words commonly used to describe the crowd at MTS Centre. No other venue in the NHL comes close to the fan support offered on any given night or afternoon when the re-branded Winnipeg Jets host their opponents.
Some say experiencing a national anthem at the Madhouse on Madison is the loudest thing you will ever hear in a hockey rink. Many would argue Winnipeg holds that title. In the opening period of Winnipeg’s first playoff game in nearly 20 years, the crowd erupted at the opening goal to a recorded stat of 124 decibels.
To put that into perspective, the loudest recorded sporting event occurred September 29th, 2014 in a NFL game between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs. At one point, Arrowhead Stadium reached 142 decibels.
This stat is impressive for Winnipeg as it has a seating capacity of 65,000 fewer fans than Kansas City’s stadium holds.
Not only do Jets fans cheer with excessive volume, they also tantalize their opponents in some of the most creative ways imagined. From the ‘silver medal’ chant (directed at Ryan Miller following his defeat in the 2010 Olympics) to ‘who’s your captain’ (aimed toward the San Jose Sharks and their management after many captaincy changes), the Winnipeg Jet’s faithful undoubtedly enjoy the relentless teasing of the competition.
There may not have been anything more memorable from a Jets fan’s perspective on this year’s playoffs than the way the Winnipeg crowd treated Corey Perry, who along with his Anaheim Ducks challenged the Jets this spring in the first round of the playoffs. Perry had to shut out the jeers from the boisterous crowd as his pop star namesake made its way around the series quickly.
Despite the jeering, the Winnipeg Whiteout left a lasting impression on the right winger.
“That was cool. That was probably the loudest building I’ve ever played in,” said Perry at a promotional event in Toronto earlier this week. “When you see the passion of the fans and just the passion of the city… it was pretty crazy. It was a lot of fun to play in.”