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True North Sports & Entertainment and MTS expand partnership for MTS Centre

MTS Centre soon to be the permanent home of Manitoba’s new NHL team

Friday, 17.06.2011 / 5:52 PM / News Articles
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True North Sports & Entertainment and MTS expand partnership for MTS Centre
True North Sports & Entertainment and MTS, Manitoba’s local, leading full-service telecommunications provider, today announced the expansion of their long-standing partnership, including the continuation of the naming rights for MTS Centre. The state-of-the-art facility - soon to be the permanent home of Winnipeg’s NHL team - has become one of the most popular sport and multi-purpose venues in the world since it opened in 2004, and will continue to be called MTS Centre.

"Today’s announcement represents what will be the largest single corporate partnership commitment to True North Sports & Entertainment and our new NHL Hockey Club," said Jim Ludlow, President & CEO, True North Sports & Entertainment. "This deal underscores the level of commitment from a leading corporate citizen in Manitoba to the sustainability and long-term viability of NHL hockey in our marketplace."

"MTS and True North share a common vision for the people and the growth of this province. Like True North, MTS is the home team - our roots are here," said Pierre Blouin, Chief Executive Officer, MTS Allstream. "Our brands are both synonymous with community as well as bringing the highest quality services to Manitobans - be it entertainment or telecommunications - and we are thrilled that our name will continue to be synonymous with hockey excellence."

Under the new 10 year agreement, MTS remains the exclusive telecommunications provider to MTS Centre and also has the option to extend its partnership with True North well past 2030.

Today MTS Centre is the most connected building in Manitoba and MTS will continue to provide its industry leading services throughout the facility including high bandwidth Internet access, and superior in-building CDMA and 4G wireless coverage for both voice and data services. MTS’s award-winning MTS Ultimate TV service is available in lounges, dressing rooms, corporate suites and various offices within the facility. MTS’s network will also enable broadcasters to distribute hi-definition NHL coverage from within the building to their viewers.  

 
MTS began its partnership with True North when it acquired the naming rights to MTS Centre six years ago. The companies expanded their relationship even further in April 2010 when MTS entered into a naming rights partnership agreement for the MTS Iceplex - a 172,000 square foot multi-plex facility that houses four NHL regulation-sized rinks. The MTS Iceplex serves the local minor hockey community and has become a Hockey Canada Centre of Excellence.
"We are very proud of our relationship with True North and we supported their quest for an NHL team from the beginning. Our discussions started months ago and we are very pleased that our new agreement will enable MTS to showcase even more of our capabilities to Manitobans for years to come," added Mr. Blouin.

MTS Centre is located in the heart of downtown Winnipeg. In just over six years, MTS Centre has hosted over 1,000 events and welcomed over six million patrons to Manitoba Moose hockey and a multitude of world-class entertainment events. Winnipeg’s foremost entertainment facility has risen as high as third in Canada and 19th in the world on Pollstar Magazine’s Top 100 list of arena venue ticket sales. MTS Centre received major recognition in 2009 during Canadian Music Week when it was honoured as Canada’s Major Facility of the Year.

About True North Sports & Entertainment
True North Sports & Entertainment was established in 1999 with the vision of bringing Winnipeg to the forefront of the sports and entertainment industry. The most significant milestone in reaching that vision was the construction of MTS Centre. The state-of-the-art entertainment facility became the home of the Manitoba Moose and also host to a constant succession of world-class performers. Opening its doors in November of 2004, MTS Centre remained the home of the Moose until May 31, 2011, when True North Sports & Entertainment proudly announced its purchase of the Atlanta Thrashers and the return of NHL hockey to Winnipeg. True North Sports & Entertainment expanded its operations in 2010 with the construction of MTS Iceplex and the opening of MTS Centre Exhibition Hall. Spanning operation of all three facilities, True North Sports & Entertainment now employs more than 125 full-time staff.

About MTS
MTS is a division of MTS Allstream Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. As one of Canada's leading national communication solutions companies, MTS Allstream provides innovative communications for the way Canadians want to live and work today. The Company has more than 100 years of experience, with 5,500 employees across Canada dedicated to a mission of delivering true value as seen through the eyes of our customers. MTS Allstream has nearly two million total customer connections spanning business customers across Canada and residential consumers throughout the province of Manitoba. The Company's extensive national broadband and fibre optic network spans almost 30,000 kilometres. Manitoba Telecom Services Inc.'s common shares are listed on Toronto Stock Exchange (trading symbol: MBT). Customers, stakeholders and investors who want to learn more about MTS Allstream are encouraged to visit:  www.mtsallstream.com.

Forward-looking Statements Disclaimer
This news release includes forward-looking statements and information (collectively, the "statements") about our corporate direction, business opportunities, operations, financial objectives,  planned activities, future financial results and performance that are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. As a consequence, actual results in the future may differ materially from any conclusion, forecast, anticipation or projection in such forward-looking statements. Examples of statements that constitute forward looking information may be identified by words such as "believe", "expect", "project", "should", "anticipate", "could", "target", "forecast", "intend", "plan", "outlook", "see", "set", "pending", and other similar terms.
Factors that could cause anticipated opportunities and actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, matters identified in the "Risks and Uncertainties" section and elsewhere in our most recent annual MD&A and any subsequent quarterly MD&As, as well as our most recent Annual Information Form, all of which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Please note that forward looking statements reflect our expectations as at the date hereof. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise except as required by law.

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