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Talk Of Wings Hosting A Winter Classic Game

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings are in deep discussions with the NHL about hosting an outdoor game within the next two seasons.

MLive.com has learned the Red Wings expect to host the annual Winter Classic either next season or in 2013-14.

The Red Wings would prefer to have the game at Comerica Park, home of the Tigers, also owned by Mike Ilitch. But it might take place at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor due to its huge capacity.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

DrewBehr's avatar

As much as I would love to see the Winter Classic stay in downtown Detroit, the Wings would be fools not to host the game at Michigan Stadium. I can’t see them turning down the ability to be a part of what could possibly be the largest attended hockey game in history.

That being said… considering the league would scoff at a Chicago/Detroit rematch, who will be the opposing team? Toronto? Montreal?

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 12/01/11 at 05:18 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Those would be my top three choices DB.

NBC will be concerned about ratings and having a Canadian team won’t help.

Maybe a wild card but not something I would like to see would be Columbus, hoping fans would make the drive up, especially if played in Ann Arbor.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 12/01/11 at 05:22 AM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

Given the fact that the only two Original 6 teams yet to play in a Winter Classic are Montreal and Toronto, in seems like a great idea.

But do you really think having Canadian teams would hurt ratings? I feel like bringing MON or TOR in would not only attract the old-time hockey purists, but could also channel a US/CANADA attraction, a la the Olympics. If you’re trying to grow the game, why not?

And if NBC is indeed concerned about ratings, a CBJ/DET matchup should be avoided at all costs.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 12/01/11 at 05:35 AM ET

Avatar

Hi Guys, From what I have been reading and given info on over the past 6 months is it would be Tor or MNT if played at the big house, from a fan stand point minn would drive up for the game as well but are not going to have the ratings impact of an original 6. However if being played at commerica dont count out Col or NJ. The heritage classic team are typically announced one full year in advance so my money would be 2013 and which ever of the 2 original 6 canadian teams that arnt playing in it should give a good idea. An interesting note, bettman has tried to have the 2013 teams locked up by Jan 2nd so the can announce it at intermission of this years game.

Posted by Tom from Detroit on 12/01/11 at 06:10 AM ET

SYF's avatar

From the article:

Minnesota and Columbus probably would be the only other places capable of hosting the Winter Classic, but it’s doubtful NBC would want to show the Wild or the Blue Jackets, who would not garner good enough TV ratings.

I ain’t holding my breath.  Seriously.  If it’s going to be the Wings, the most likely opponent would have to be CHI again.  Divisional rivalry.  Historic teams.  Bad blood.

If it were me, I’d tell Gary.Ass to suck it, get the Wings and Habs to play, and get a deal done between NBC and CBC to broadcast the game.

I’ll believe it when I see the presser.

Posted by SYF from Ball's Hill on 12/01/11 at 06:49 AM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

I would sell my right kidney to watch Wings vs Leafs at Michigan Stadium.  That would be the greatest thing ever.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 12/01/11 at 09:59 AM ET

yzer19man's avatar

It HAS to be played at the Big House and it HAS to be against the Leafs. Television ratings will not be an issue. The Leafs haven’t played in a Winter Classic yet, while the Habs have played two Heritage Classics so I think it only fair to give them a chance. A game against Colorado wouldn’t be bad either I guess, even though the rivalry isn’t what it once was.  And enough of using baseball stadiums for these games.  The sightlines for some of the lower level seats are terrible.  I was at the Wrigley game and with some of the “prime” seats around the field, you couldn’t even see the ice surface. The seats in the outfield were far away from the ice and hard to see the players.  If held at Michigan Stadium, you won’t encounter those problems. The games at Ralph Wilson and Heinze Field were great.
It would only be fitting to have the game at the Big House.
IT WILL BE EPIC and I WILL BE THERE

Posted by yzer19man from Chicago, IL on 12/01/11 at 11:28 AM ET

BrendonR's avatar

Going against the Leafs would just make too much sense.  They would be a bigger draw than any other team, and Detroit’s relatively close proximity to TO doesn’t hurt either.  There are a lot of Wings fan here!  And as much as Detroit is Hockeytown, there isn’t a city in the world that cares more about hockey than we do here.

Posted by BrendonR on 12/01/11 at 11:41 AM ET

42jeff's avatar

If held at Michigan Stadium, you won’t encounter those problems. The games at Ralph Wilson and Heinze Field were great.
It would only be fitting to have the game at the Big House.
IT WILL BE EPIC and I WILL BE THERE
Posted by yzer19man from Chicago, IL on 12/01/11 at 08:28 AM ET

And let’s not forget they’ve already done hockey there a couple times so logistically it makes sense.  They know what they’re doing.

As for opponents…I would love to see them play Toronto.

But just imagine the cross-over fans you could pull in with a game against the Blow Jackets at the big house.

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 12/01/11 at 11:44 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

Posted by DrewBehr on 12/01/11 at 02:35 AM ET

You forgot about the Wings/Hawks game a few seasons back.

I would prefer it at Comerica. Yes, Michigan Stadium has more seats, but most of those seats will be crappy seats.

And sorry Michigan alums, but it would just feel wrong to have the Wings play a home game in Ann Arbor. The Wings and Tigers are the two teams that haven’t ventured to the suburbs for extended periods of time, and I like something about that tradition.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 12/01/11 at 12:10 PM ET

Avatar

Michigan Stadium is the only logical choice. If it is played at Comerica, it is solely for Illitch to get the money. Toronto and Detroit are the best options, it would be cool if they split the seats right down the middle, blue on oneside and red on the other. Canada will be happy they get in the Winter Classic and they can’t justify one every year anyway up north. TV will be fine, with huge numbers on CBC and decent numbers in the US.

Posted by timbits on 12/01/11 at 12:18 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I would prefer the Wings not have anything to do with another outdoor game, period.

Posted by Primis on 12/01/11 at 01:23 PM ET

UMFan's avatar

NBC doesn’t want nor care about anything Canadian, particularly on their showcase day. Toronto would be cool but my guess, it will be either Columbus or, since Sid will have a year off of the winter classic schedule this year, Pittsburgh. It should be done at Comerica. Michigan Stadium has already been done. Little Gary B and company were late and missed out on that one. The Colorado thing would be cool but I think that is a game to be played at Mile High.

Posted by UMFan from Denver, Colorado on 12/01/11 at 01:30 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

I would prefer it at Comerica. Yes, Michigan Stadium has more seats, but most of those seats will be crappy seats.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 12/01/11 at 09:10 AM ET


This.  Michigan Stadium is just too big.  75%+ of the people who go won’t be able to see a damn thing.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 12/01/11 at 01:35 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

NBC can kiss my ass. Toronto is the best choice. If they don’t think enough Americans will tune in to watch that, then they’re out of their goddamned minds.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/01/11 at 01:53 PM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

Man…a game @ Michigan Stadium would be amazing.  Why WOULDN’T you have it at a college stadium that can hold almost 110,000 people.

Wow.  I have goosebumps just thinking about it.

And if they don’t think Toronto would be American enough, they could always have Pens-Wings.  I mean…it’ll be a WHOLE YEAR without the Pens playing in the Winter Classic.  So…you know…they definitely need to be in it again.  smile

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 12/01/11 at 02:00 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

whoever hates the idea of detroit in a winter classic hates baby jesus

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 12/01/11 at 02:09 PM ET

awould's avatar

Michigan Stadium also recently installed a large HD scoreboard which would be a good thing to have at such a large arena for the fans to be able to monitor the action close-up.

I was in the bleachers at Wrigley at that game and while it was sort of far away, it was no problem to keep pace with the game. And the experience was the best sports experience of my life. It was awesome. The Big House would be pretty sweet too, way better than Comerica Park.

Posted by awould on 12/01/11 at 02:20 PM ET

Avatar

Don’t forget that with the Winter Classic you also get HBO 24/7.  Sweet!

Posted by Sal from at work on 12/01/11 at 02:26 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I was in the bleachers at Wrigley at that game and while it was sort of far away, it was no problem to keep pace with the game. And the experience was the best sports experience of my life. It was awesome. The Big House would be pretty sweet too, way better than Comerica Park.

I was on the first base line between home plate and the dugout.  The experience was wonderful, but I watched most of the game on the Wrigley scoreboard because I couldn’t see the puck through the boards with my sight lines.

I wouldn’t trade the experience I had there for the world, but I definitely feel a football stadium is a better venue than a ballpark for a hockey game.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 12/01/11 at 02:50 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

seeing this news and 19 comments - it was like angels singing.

I’d prefer Det v MTL if only for the alumni game. Can you imagine Ted Lindsay lacing them up and skating against the Habs? I’d LOVE to see that!

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 12/01/11 at 02:51 PM ET

awould's avatar

I wouldn’t trade the experience I had there for the world, but I definitely feel a football stadium is a better venue than a ballpark for a hockey game.

It probably is. Wrigley was pretty cool though, I used to live in Chicago and have been to many baseball games there, used to lived a block away and so to see the Red Wings play there was surreal and very cool. I also used to live in Ypsilanti, a few miles from the Big House and grew up with season tickets, so to see the Wings play there would be another once-in-a-lifetime thing. Unfortunately, I already know I won’t be able to go so I’ll have to settle for seeing it on the tv.

Posted by awould on 12/01/11 at 02:58 PM ET

SYF's avatar

It is partially about the ratings.  How do you split revenues?  Who gets the heavier workload in broadcasting?  Who has the best resources to spend? 

Set TV revenues at 50/50.  Whatever’s after that split (i.e. merchandising, tickets, online, etc.) is profit.

Whatever beef Gary.Ass has with the Canadian broadcasting outlets can be overruled when dollars and loonies are flashing their massive titties at him.

Posted by SYF from Ball's Hill on 12/01/11 at 05:31 PM ET

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