Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Cotsonika: poor weather at Winter Classic = no world record for attendance

Shocking news regarding what was most certainly the biggest hockey game ever held, from Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika:

Update: Here's Cotsonika in article form:

The league sold 105,491 tickets for the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings on New Year’s Day – enough to break the record of 104,173, set when Michigan State played Michigan at the Big House in 2010.

The stands were essentially full. But the margin was thin, and the NHL announced only the number of tickets sold because it could not complete an accurate count. Cold, snowy weather made traveling treacherous. Fans were still entering the stadium as late as the second period. Ticket-takers stopped scanning stubs.

The NHL had to agree to a preapproved accounting method with Guinness, and it chose a barcoded ticketing system. Guinness had an official adjudicator on site, Alex Angert, who said he could count only fans whose tickets were scanned, plus media and officials who came only to watch the game.

The league still seemed to have a shot afterward. At the “Big Chill at the Big House” in 2010, Michigan announced a crowd of 113,411 – even though Guinness was on site and certified only 85,451 at the time mainly because ticket scanners froze in the cold. About a month later, after analyzing photos of the stands, Guinness certified the attendance at 104,073. It now lists it at 104,173.

Officially, the league hasn’t given up hope.

“They said it was going to take a while,” said NHL chief operating officer John Collins. “We haven’t heard that it’s not the record. We just haven’t heard anything.”

Guinness officials could not be reached for comment Friday night. But the source said privately the league had let it go.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink




Posted by brians neck on 01/24/14 at 08:59 PM ET

RocketSurgeon's avatar

So ... just do it again.

Posted by RocketSurgeon on 01/24/14 at 09:29 PM ET

awould's avatar

Picture the temper tantrum Gary Bettman is throwing right now…..

Posted by awould on 01/24/14 at 11:23 PM ET


Not surprised.  Travel was treacherous.  On the trip from Windsor to Ann Arbor that morning, I probably saw enough cars on the side of the road to make up the difference between the tickets sold and the official attendance at the Big Chill.

Posted by Garth on 01/24/14 at 11:24 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

“Fans were still entering in the second because of the weather. “

That may certainly have been a part of it, but it should also be mentioned that the nhl screwed a lot of folks over with shuttles that had 2+ hour waits. 

I’m still a little bitter about that.  Fortunately we were close enough to walk.  Unfortunately it was still a 1.5 mile walk each way.

Posted by TreKronor on 01/25/14 at 12:42 AM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

Go Blue!!!

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 01/25/14 at 12:29 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.