The Winter Classic committee has agreed to have the 2013 Winter Classic in Michigan that year allowing the Detroit Red Wings to play on home ice and be the host. When they visited the Winter Classic stage in 2009 vs. rivals the Chicago Blackhawks, they won 6-4 in a game that was played at Wrigley Field. This time around, they look to host another rival, original six team the Toronto Maple Leafs. But, like everything else, there is some “drama” if you will. The league wants to have the Winter Classic game in The Big House, U-of-M football field in Ann Arbor, which seats more than 110,000 people. The league wants to break the record of most attendance at a Winter Classic game, which this stadium could obviously do.
Now, here comes the problems. Owner Mike Illitch, a Detroit guy, wants to put the outdoor rink at Comerica Park, where his other team, the Detroit Tigers, play. So there has been word of a peaceful truce, so to speak. The Winter Classic is said to be held at The Big House, while the rink at Comerica Park would hold the Great Lakes Invitational tournament in late December and possibly an alumni game.
My thoughts? Sure. I think they should drop the Ann Arbor idea right now. First off, Ann Arbor is 43 miles west of Detroit, it’s not Detroit. That would be like telling Philadelphia this year that they were hosting the Winter Classic of 2012, but the ice rink was in Pittsburgh. And who cares if you break the record of most attendance, this has only been around since 2008. You have a long time to keep breaking the record. It doesn’t have to be broken every year if it isn’t necessary, which it isn’t.
I’m from a city about 20 minutes from Detroit, and I would rather go to Comerica Park than Ann Arbor to witness a great game, which I plan on doing, but you do what you have to, I guess. The Winter Classic committee seems a little too greedy, because all they want is money, which is what everyone wants these days, isn’t it?