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The Malik Report

The lockout won’t harm the Red Wings, but it will hurt Detroit

Given that the Red Wings are in an intriguing perceptional business position--as one of the biggest-market, moneymaking teams in a market that doesn't necessarily receive much more than mid-market media coverage--Crain's Detroit Business's Bill Shea chose to examine the effects of a lockout upon the Wings and the Detroit sports marketplace:

"Detroit's not going to give up on hockey, but there are marginal clubs out there that might never recover," said Patrick Anderson, principal and CEO of East Lansing-based Anderson Economic Group and former deputy budget director for the state. His firm conducts sports economic analysis.

Those that would feel an immediate financial effect from the loss of Wings games would be downtown bar and parking lot owners, he said, but discretionary spending will pick up elsewhere. The benefactors would be restaurants and bars elsewhere, along with the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Pistons and downtown casinos, Anderson said.

"By and large, people are still going to have some time and feel like going out to a game and some entertainment, and they're going to do it," he said.

Detroit would lose the 1.275 percent nonresident income tax it collects from Wings players.

The financial danger to the Wings and local businesses is a long-term lockout.

"Long (work stoppages) do cut into your fan base and they undermine the sale of merchandise and licensed materials. It's just not a positive thing for a club owner," Anderson said. "Fans get really mad when they think there's a bunch of millionaires arguing with each other on how much money they can keep from fans."

No foolin.' Especially given that the Wings won't lower ticket prices by one cent when this is over...

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LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

As someone who attended games with tickets bought on the secondhand market (mainly Stubhub) last year, games before new years were much cheaper and the stands were less full, while the second half of the season was a much tougher ticket and there seemed to be generally more excitement around each game.  Disregarding the winning streak and play on the ice, I think the biggest factor for this change was that people from October - December were spending more of their money and time focusing on the Lions, a team that was exciting for the first time in who knows how long, while the second half of the hockey season also saw the Red Wings as the hottest ticket in town.

Without the Red Wings in the fall, I think a large part of the Detroit fanbase will spend their time focusing on football, and if somehow the Pistons become competitive this season, a significant portion of the fanbase will start making its way to Auburn Hills instead of Joe Louis even when the Wings do return..

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 09/14/12 at 01:50 PM ET

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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.