Winter Classic to The Big House

Submitted by AlphaBlue on January 18th, 2012 at 2:27 AM
According to sources at, the Winter Classic at The Big House is a done deal. The Red Wings will host the Maple Leafs.

Everything's better at The Big House!



January 18th, 2012 at 7:55 AM ^

Please tell me how you could see the game better in the upper reaches of comerica compared to the big house? You wanna talk sightlines? Try sitting near the concourse at comerica and watching a tigers game.. Not to easy.. Yet the seats near the concourse at the big house.. No problem. I completely agree with everyones' assesment.. Dtown wont be fixed by a hockey game..
<br>An a bomb maybe but what would we so without ford field?

Darth Wolverine

January 18th, 2012 at 4:59 PM ^

Hockey should not be played in baseball stadiums. I was at the Frozen Faceoff in Cleveland and my seat was on the third base line in the fifth row. Awful , awful seats. I couldn't see the other end of the rink, so during the first intermission, we moved to the upper deck and saw everything perfectly. While I think the timing is bad with this game (in case we're in a bowl game that day or around that day, a lot of fans will be traveling), I think this will be awesome at the Big House.


January 18th, 2012 at 3:35 AM ^

Exactly how is this game "terrible" for Detroit?  It replaces one home game.  There are 40 other home games, not counting the playoffs.  There are 81 Tigers home games.  There are 10 Lions home games, counting exhibitions.  

I don't think the city of Detroit is going to suffer too badly losing one home game.  The publicity that the franchise gets by playing in this game will more than compensate for any "loss" suffered by Detroit.  


January 18th, 2012 at 5:19 AM ^

needs to take advantage of every single potential opportunity it can get. It's not just one home game, it is the only regular season showcase with a national hockey audience. The National hockey fans will see the Big House and say "that is pretty cool", but it tells them absolutely nothing about Detroit.


January 18th, 2012 at 6:13 AM ^

Detroit needs more than an outdoor hockey game to fix it's problems.  Besides, wasn't hosting the All Star Game and the Super Bowl and the Final Four in consecutive years supposed to put Detroit back on the map and get people excited to go down there again?

You can't solve 40 years of corruption and horrible management with a couple nationally televised sporting events.


January 18th, 2012 at 9:16 AM ^

Sports will not fix any city's issues, but three straight days of 40,000 people packing Comerica Park will help bring revenue into the city. 

They're still talking about setting up a rink at Comerica for the alumni game and possibly the GLI, so they can still make it a great event for both cities.

CRISPed in the DIAG

January 18th, 2012 at 10:29 AM ^

My snark obscures the fact that I actually agree with you in terms there being some benefit to Detroit (w/o the "three straight days of 40,000" part - not sure we'd see 40,000 for the main event in CoPa because of seating and sightline issues). Strictly from a venue or event standpoint, Michigan Stadium proved to be a pretty good host for outdoor hockey.


January 18th, 2012 at 10:55 AM ^

All these events have not and were never expected to fix Detroit but Detroit has improved since. I work downtown and a ton of new businesses popped up. This is all we can ask for. I love the idea of the Big House getting more national coverage, I love hanging out on Ann Arbor but I just think the NHL is making the morally wrong decision.

Doc Brown

January 18th, 2012 at 5:21 PM ^

I would love to help out Detroit as much I can by attending Wings/Tigers events and eating at local establishments. However, the NHL has no obligation to help out Detroit. Their only obligation is to produce revenue. Lets face, the NHL will produce much more revenue in ticket sales, concessions, and merchandise at Michigan Stadium than at CoPa. 


January 18th, 2012 at 10:58 AM ^ much as anyone here, but the city needs to get its act together way more than it needs self promotion.  Detroit doesn't have a perception problem, Detroit has a reality problem.  If and when the city's leadership manages to get an economy running, schools teaching, and crime under some semblance of control -- when they've done all that, they can hold big public events and call attention to what they've accomplished.  Until then, don't we have enough pictures of the ruins?


January 18th, 2012 at 2:48 AM ^

Tired of people whining about Detroit. Do I want Detroit to do well, heck yes. If they keep voting the same people in, tough luck. Go blue! Amp it up in Detroit and take action. Corruption out!


January 18th, 2012 at 8:33 AM ^

I wasn't able to make the Big Chill, but did make the Frozen Diamond and despite the weak attempt by Ohio at putting on an outdoor game, it was really cool.  There was a ton of energy, and even though the sight lines weren't perfect, it honestly felt like my childhood playing pond hockey out on the lake. 

I vote for 1 outdoor game per year rotating among the 6 teams once the B1G hockey confernce goes live.

South Bend Wolverine

January 18th, 2012 at 10:32 AM ^

Yeah, the Big Chill sucked.  The perfect sightlines, great ice, full marching band, fireworks, and 5-0 drubbing of MSU were such a drag.

Of course it's a stunt, that's why we only do it once per year.  But when you set up the rink properly, like we did w/ the Big Chill, it's an awesome event to attend.  100,000+ at a hockey game turns out to be pretty damn cool.


January 18th, 2012 at 8:15 AM ^

I'm with you on this, sort of.  Having been to 2 outdoor games, they atmosphere is just not the same.  Sightlines and the lack of game sound really change the experience, and the ice is generally terrible so the game is much slower.  I've talked to a few hockey die hards who feel this way.  Still glad about the TV exposure it brings to the game.


January 18th, 2012 at 5:11 AM ^

As weird as the whole premise sounds to me, it's going to be pretty awesome seeing the Wings take to the ice at the Big House. Comerica Park was probably more sensible for the city but it'll get way more publicity at the Big House.  Also a little surprising considering the Illitch connection with the Wings and Comerica-- the NHL didn't really do him a favor but whatever. 


January 18th, 2012 at 8:30 AM ^

Seriously.  I don't have anything against using the Big House more than 8 days per year.  It's a kick ass stadium built to pretty much obliterate attendance records.  Why not use it for select really cool events like big concerts for U2, DMB, and other bands I like (no stupid pop music), pro hockey games, lacrosse games? 

I understand it sort of make the "specialness" of only going into the stadum at most 8 times per year, but it would be a nice way to build publicity and get some revenue so we never have to have advertisements there.

Apparently though, the tunnel is too short for most stage equpment.


January 18th, 2012 at 7:46 AM ^

I'd love to see David "Bling" Brandon's business plan for the next 5 years. I get the feeling Champions League, MLB exihibitions, and Olympic trials aren't out of the question.


January 18th, 2012 at 8:10 AM ^

Excellent!  I'll attend the game in my wings jersey, with 'M' hat.  And I'm glad they picked NYD to have the game... that'll give me a week to rest and get to Miami to see Michigan play in the MNC the following week!

French West Indian

January 18th, 2012 at 8:40 AM ^

Having grown up playing on the frozen puddles of farm fields I've always despised all those pretty boy hockey players in the big cities with their fancy uniforms and indoor rinks.

They need to start building hockey arenas with retractable roofs so that whenever it's cold enough it can be played outdoors like it should be.

Also, there should be no teams in places like Miami, Phoenix, Los Angeles, etc.  That is total BS.


January 18th, 2012 at 10:02 AM ^

95% of good hockey players that live where pond hockey is available play pond hockey - they probably also play organized indoor hockey, but pond hockey is what hockey is all about.  

For example, the skill most necessary in hockey, skating, can't be replicated anywhere other than on ice.  And since mainting an ice rink is expensive, even AAA travel players rarely skate indoors for more than 7 hours per week.  Think about if you lived in a colder climate and were a kid on the weekend.  You could easily get that in 2 afternoons.  Take a look at the NHL breakdown of player origin:

Country Players Percent Of League
Canada 389 54.2%
United States 142 19.8%
Sweden 45 6.3%
Czech Rep. 40 5.6%
Finland 32 4.5%
Russia 25 3.5%
Slovakia 12 1.7%

at least 80% of those players come from cold climate countries (and that's not even including the US, where most of its players come from northern states).


January 20th, 2012 at 7:04 AM ^

I didnt skate indoors until I was 12, I started at 5.  Our biggest problem was the "January Thaw".  It took another week to get the ice just right.  I hated that.

We had our own version of Title IV.  The neighborhood Dads made us share the ice with the girls too.