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The part of a Red Wings-versus-Maple Leafs Winter Classic that scares the hell out of me

So Red Wings VP Jimmy Devellano did his best to spill the beans without spilling them regarding the NHL’s desire to hold a Red Wings-Maple Leafs Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium, for the express purpose of kick-starting interest in the now half-decade-old event while setting a new hockey attendance record at the 110,000-seat Big House. As the New York Times’ Jeff Z. Klein and Stu Hackel point out, however, while the NHL will attempt to best the Big Chill at the Big House’s 104,173 spectator record, it’s very, very probable that once the Red Wings and Maple Leafs take care of their season ticket-holders’ needs, Michigan Stadium may have an MTS Centre’s worth of tickets left, if that:

The business of breaking those records is where the inclusion of the Leafs comes in. Fans with full or partial season tickets in Detroit and Toronto will get first chance at Winter Classic seats, but several thousand tickets might still be available. With great demand from both sides of the Michigan-Ontarioborder, they should be snapped up in short order.

Emphasis on “several thousand,” and given the fact that there are several million people who’d love to attend, I get the feeling that there will be some serious sour grapes from Wings fans who get shut out from the event to accommodate high, if not unlimited ticket grabs by people from Toronto. The vast majority of non-season ticket-holder Wings fans who want to get into the Winter Classic will probably have to buy tickets on the secondary market unless the NHL steps in (unlikely) and tells the Wings and Leafs to remember that the average fan should have a decent shot of attending the game, too.

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Comments

MsRedWinger's avatar

Damn, George, I didn’t even think about this.  I have a few relatives in Michigan who are excited about this and I’m planning to travel home and go with them.  Not being able to get tickets would be a serious bummer…

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 01/21/12 at 08:58 PM ET

HockeyFanOhio's avatar

I actually figured that with that many tickets it would be easier to get some, but you make a good point.  That could seriously suck.

Posted by HockeyFanOhio from Central Ohio on 01/21/12 at 09:32 PM ET

Avatar

The vast majority of non-season ticket-holder Wings fans who want to get into the Winter Classic will probably have to buy tickets on the secondary market unless the NHL steps in (unlikely) and tells the Wings and Leafs to remember that the average fan should have a decent shot of attending the game, too.

OK. And how is this any different from any other WC game that’s been played so far?

You know, except for the fact that there will be SO MANY MORE tickets available than at any other WC game.

The biggest WC game had 71,000 seats sold.  The smallest had 38,000 seats sold.  This one would have more seats available than BOTH of those put together.

Every WC so far has included two teams with big fan bases, what makes this one any different?

Posted by Garth on 01/21/12 at 10:12 PM ET

HockeyFanOhio's avatar

I took the point to be that these will also be the two biggest fan bases in the league scraping for tickets.  So more tickets but even more fans.  Maybe not a problems, but possible.

Posted by HockeyFanOhio from Central Ohio on 01/21/12 at 10:31 PM ET

yreland's avatar

Sadly, I fear that Gerorge may be right.  I want to go, but am unwilling to pay secondary market prices.

Posted by yreland from Hockey's black hole South Carolina on 01/21/12 at 10:47 PM ET

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Posted by HockeyFanOhio from Central Ohio on 01/21/12 at 08:31 PM ET

I understand what you’re saying but if there is EVER going to be a WC that has tickets available for the everyday fan it’s this one.

Especially considering how many people were supporters of having the WC at Comerica Park (record attendance of more than 65,000 less than will be at Michigan Stadium).

Posted by Garth on 01/21/12 at 11:10 PM ET

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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.