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Detroit a 2013 Winter Classic frontrunner

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08:39 AM ET 01.03 | Gary Bettman prefaced his Monday Q&A by saying he didn't know where the event would be held next, which hasn't cooled speculation. The Detroit Red Wings have emerged as the lock to host the next Winter Classic, but it's certainly not from a lack of options. ... It's been since 2009 that a Western Conference team has hosted the game, which makes the Detroit a natural to host next season. The biggest decision left is the venue. The appeal of breaking attendance records and hosting a NHL game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor is a strong pull, but Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch owns Comerica Park and is one of the strong proponents of promoting downtown Detroit. As we learned with re-alignment, Ilitch has a lot of pull in the league.

ESPN.com

Nicklas Lidstrom, Icon Sports Nicklas Lidstrom, Icon Sports
Comment #1 has been removed
January 3, 2012  09:47 AM ET

I would agree with either location (Ann Arbor or Detroit). I would also like to see Toronto (or Montreal) provide the opposition. While I don't agree that Americans would not go to see a Canadian team, it is inarguable that hockey is a regional sport here in the States. Not true in Michigan nor with Toronto or Montreal as the opponent.

January 3, 2012  09:49 AM ET

If any Wings fans have been watching the World Juniors they have got to be happy. The Russian Tender is playing unbelievable. Nice asset to have the rights for.

January 3, 2012  10:05 AM ET

Wings and the Bruins in Ann Arbor. I might even go.

January 3, 2012  10:07 AM ET

I'd like to see the Wild get into a WC eventually. Minnesota seems to always have a team in the frozen four annually, and the Northstars didn't move to Dallas for lack of fan support. Wings and the Wild playing outside would be a good game.

January 3, 2012  10:19 AM ET

At what point does the NHL stop beating a dead horse showing the same 8 teams over and over every year?

January 3, 2012  10:27 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

At what point does the NHL stop beating a dead horse showing the same 8 teams over and over every year?

They stated before that the WC wasn't going to be a democracy and that only big market teams would be invited to participate. Therein lies the problem with Bettman's preconceived notions of hockey. The event will sell, no matter who is playing in it. Personally, i think the WC should be the All Star game rather than a regular season game with points and standing on the line.

But if it stays the same reguilar season event, Mix it up. The event will sell just as much as the teams will. You could get away with playing a good club but small market team in an away game against a big market team. You obviously aren't going to have a WC in Florida, but that doesn't mean the Panthers can't play in a WC in Calgary or something like that. It'll sell.

January 3, 2012  10:40 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

I would agree with either location (Ann Arbor or Detroit). I would also like to see Toronto (or Montreal) provide the opposition. While I don't agree that Americans would not go to see a Canadian team, it is inarguable that hockey is a regional sport here in the States. Not true in Michigan nor with Toronto or Montreal as the opponent.

I agree. Either place will do but ... if it is to be .... it's GOT TO BE Toronto. It's a historic and legendary rivalry. Montreal? Not so much.

Even though I'm not in love with these hockey events held in baseball venues, just imagine a game between Detroit and Toronto. A match made in hockey heaven! It's a natural.

January 3, 2012  10:56 AM ET

It may be a relief to some (everyone) that they said yesterday that western venues are ruled out due to the time window they have for the New Year's schedule. Though it's odd to think they have ruled them out due to schedule instead of, say, weather, and that they've moved the game time back the past two years.

The problem for Detroit fans is that they are used to a New Year's Eve game at the Joe. I'm sure they'll take a WC at home, but the Wrigley game (or any possible WC road game) took both away from them.

January 3, 2012  10:59 AM ET

Kill the Winter Klassick. It has bad seats, no one looks comfortable and seems to be a classic mistake.

January 3, 2012  11:10 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

At what point does the NHL stop beating a dead horse showing the same 8 teams over and over every year?

The Buttgoblin is planning one for Phoenix as we speak

January 3, 2012  11:28 AM ET

It could be Phoenix next year. Maybe against Florida with the game in Mexico City. Could be the first Winter Classic on roller skates, eh. Bueno!!!!

January 3, 2012  11:47 AM ET

baseball fields are bad sites for these games. should stick with football stadiums. big house, horse shoe, mile high, etc. should've had the chicago one at soldier field not wrigley. (don't know if bears had a home game that week)

January 3, 2012  12:09 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

baseball fields are bad sites for these games. should stick with football stadiums. big house, horse shoe, mile high, etc. should've had the chicago one at soldier field not wrigley. (don't know if bears had a home game that week)

The logistical problems were fine when they used the classic stadiums like Wrigley and Fenway, now they're using or looking at new ballparks and it isn't worth it. Now college football is getting into it and you have teams sharing a sideline or, like last year at Wrigley, only being able to go one way on offense because of the closeness to dangerous corners...ridiculous.

January 3, 2012  12:41 PM ET

103K at Michigan Stadium for their hockey game, but that was a lot of school kids showing up for their team. Many Leaf fans show up at the Joe for Leaf/Wings games, but driving another 30 plus miles in winter weather I just can't see. CoAmerica might work, but still crappy seating.

January 3, 2012  12:49 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

I would agree with either location (Ann Arbor or Detroit). I would also like to see Toronto (or Montreal) provide the opposition. While I don't agree that Americans would not go to see a Canadian team, it is inarguable that hockey is a regional sport here in the States. Not true in Michigan nor with Toronto or Montreal as the opponent.

Wings vs. Leafs, Ann Arbor. You would get over 100K. It would be the largest audience for hockey game ever.

January 3, 2012  12:49 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

If any Wings fans have been watching the World Juniors they have got to be happy. The Russian Tender is playing unbelievable. Nice asset to have the rights for.

Russia and Canada tonight should be a doozy. Go Canada.

January 3, 2012  12:57 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

I agree. Either place will do but ... if it is to be .... it's GOT TO BE Toronto. It's a historic and legendary rivalry. Montreal? Not so much. Even though I'm not in love with these hockey events held in baseball venues, just imagine a game between Detroit and Toronto. A match made in hockey heaven! It's a natural.

Toronto and Detroit is a natural. Lots of history between those teams. I read your post on the Carcillo hit, it was one dirtiest plays I have seen all year and the reaction from the fans was equally disturbing. Only good thing about it was Carcillo was injured on the play as well.

January 3, 2012  01:33 PM ET

Ann Arbor or Detroit would be a good choice.

What about Colorado? It's only 2 hours behind Eastern time, & the weather likely would cooperate.

 
January 3, 2012  01:37 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

It could be Phoenix next year. Maybe against Florida with the game in Mexico City. Could be the first Winter Classic on roller skates, eh. Bueno!!!!

What happened to your support of the Honolulu bid to host the Classic? I just had posters made...

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