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St.Paul chosen as new Hockeytown USA


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#61 betterREDthandead

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 11:34 PM

QUOTE(StormJH1 @ December 11, 2007 - 01:32PM) View Post

The real problem Detroit has is one that people are even more reluctant to talk about, and it's not just a sports one. There's a serious disconnect between downtown and suburb, and a lot of suburbanites would avoid Detroit completely if they could. When the product is so good that they can't help themselves, they show up to games, as was the case in the late-90's, or this past year with the Tigers. That's why outsiders view Detroit as a bandwagon city, which I think is unfair, because ALL cities are bandwagon. The decision to go downtown is just more complicated for Detroiters, who simaltaneously love and hate the place they live, but get mad if anyone else expresses the latter sentiment

Proof positive that we have a real Detroiter here. Something that outsiders don't understand.

Sadly it took 1 man 20 years to completely ruin Detroit's reputation, and it'll take thousands of people at least twice that long to restore it.
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#62 StormJH1

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 09:47 AM

QUOTE(arcticpicasso @ December 12, 2007 - 12:16AM) View Post

I'm still surprised to hear that ticket sales are still slow. Seems like every game I try to get more than two seat together at a reasonable price, no luck. Still stings to hear Minnesota wants our moniker, next they will want our USA hockey program too.



Minnesota doesn't want to call themselves Hockeytown--it was Sports Illustrated and some other columnists (Yahoo!) that came out and said "You know, Detroit calls itself 'Hockeytown', but we should really give that title to a different city". The SI author's name is Michael Farber, I heard a 20-minute interview with him on Minnesota AM radio. He strongly considered Buffalo and Philadelphia too, but ended up with St. Paul b/c of the Wild, the excellent facility (which he considers the best rink in hockey), and the culture of hockey throughout the state.

I don't think Minnesotans actually care what Detroit wants to call itself, and people here have HUGE respect for the Red Wings, since many fans made the Wings their adopted team after the North Stars left in '93. What the Wild really want is to get out of the Central Division and get back their traditional rivalries with teams like Detroit, Chicago, and St. Louis. I went to a Wings/Wild game and 30% of the fans were Red Wings fans, and not all of them were Detroit transplants! Some of them were native Minnesotans who just like the Red Wings, and have been fans of the sport their whole lives. But the Wild have a pretty rabid fanbase of their own too...

The USA hockey program in Ann Arbor is great, and a lot of Minnesota kids actually go out to that program and then come back to play for the Gophers or at other levels. The high school hockey programs here really are the heart of what makes MN a great hockey state...Sidney Crosby played at Shattuck-St. Mary's in 02-03, which is kinda like a high school/hockey academy. It's a different type of hockey fan here, and I didn't get that at first. In Detroit, everything is kinda funneled through the Red Wings, but in Minnesota, there's a lot more "options" to choose from. The Gophers have a full Fox Sports Net contract, and every one of their games is televised with the same broadcast style you'd see for a Twins or Tigers game on FSN.

#63 eva unit zero

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 10:49 AM

QUOTE(StormJH1 @ December 11, 2007 - 02:12PM) View Post

The North Stars left this state two decades ago because of the legal troubles of their owner. That's not an indictment on the fans, they didn't have anything to do with it.

Yes, it had nothing to do with the fact that the average attendance per game for the North Stars was often in the 7000-11000 range. The Wings are still averaging better than 18,000 per game...it's far from a half empty arena.

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#64 StormJH1

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 04:02 PM

QUOTE(eva unit zero @ December 12, 2007 - 11:49AM) View Post

Yes, it had nothing to do with the fact that the average attendance per game for the North Stars was often in the 7000-11000 range. The Wings are still averaging better than 18,000 per game...it's far from a half empty arena.

You're right that the North Stars attendance was down following the '91 Cup loss to Pittsburgh, but that was a smaller, older building, and it's not like every team that has attendance issues automatically collapses and gets sold. The owner was in the middle of a PR crisis and had a sexual harassment suit filed against him. He wanted a fresh start and he wanted to get out of Minnesota, where he was becoming very unpopular.

In any event, this whole "Hockeytown" thing isn't meant to be a lifetime achievement award. Just as it wouldn't be fair to hold the Dead Wings era against Detroit fans today, it's pretty much irrelevant what happened with the North Stars (a completely different franchise) almost 20 years ago. The SI author (Michael Farber) said that some of the Philadelphia Flyers reps believed they should win the award because the team was terrible in the early 90's and they still sold out or came close to it for most of those games. But again, not a lifetime acheivement award...

#65 StormJH1

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 04:15 PM

And, by the way, if the question were: Which U.S. fanbase has had the best hockey fans over the past 15 years, my answer is "Detroit," hands down. I love this club, and this organization. Growing up watching so many great Wings teams makes following the Wild or any other club feel like JV hockey. There's just something less professional, and less entertaining about everyone else, and that's not just homerism.

But Wild fans care about their team right now, they're showing up, and the whole city deserves the recognition it's getting. Name another expansion team since the early 90's that you can definitively say made the NHL better. Atlanta? Columbus? Nashville? Florida? You'd probably have to go back to Tampa Bay, Anaheim, or Ottawa, and even those 3 teams were disasters for long periods of time.

#66 eva unit zero

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 04:25 PM

QUOTE(StormJH1 @ December 12, 2007 - 04:02PM) View Post

You're right that the North Stars attendance was down following the '91 Cup loss to Pittsburgh, but that was a smaller, older building, and it's not like every team that has attendance issues automatically collapses and gets sold. The owner was in the middle of a PR crisis and had a sexual harassment suit filed against him. He wanted a fresh start and he wanted to get out of Minnesota, where he was becoming very unpopular.

In any event, this whole "Hockeytown" thing isn't meant to be a lifetime achievement award. Just as it wouldn't be fair to hold the Dead Wings era against Detroit fans today, it's pretty much irrelevant what happened with the North Stars (a completely different franchise) almost 20 years ago. The SI author (Michael Farber) said that some of the Philadelphia Flyers reps believed they should win the award because the team was terrible in the early 90's and they still sold out or came close to it for most of those games. But again, not a lifetime acheivement award...


I wasn't claiming attendance disqualifies the Twin Cities. I was correcting your statement that the Stars had good fan support. The Minnesota North Stars absolutely did NOT have good fan support. Here's some perspective...Washington is currently last in the league with an average 13,200 attendance. That number would have been the best year for the Minnesota North Stars. Minnesota's BEST year was worse than any existing team pulls in now. Nashville has gotten tons more fan support than the North Stars (or Jets or Whalers, for that matter) did, yet people feel they should lose their team for lack of an support. You think Minnesota should be the State of Hockey? I disagree. Michigan has the longest tradition of professional hockey in the world. The first professional hockey league was based in northern Michigan. USA Hockey's national team is based in Michigan. Two of the nation's best and most historic college hockey programs are in Michigan, as is what has been by far the most dominant professional club. So Detroit hasn't sold out every game this year,,,if how filled to capacity the NHL arena is is the guide to Hockeytown, that would make Anaheim hockeytown right now with 106%.

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#67 Mudvayneowns91

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 04:30 PM

The fact that the Wild aren't that good (maybe 6-8 seed my guess) and play a boring stlye like the trap is a credit to the fans.
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#68 RedWingsFreak17

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 04:33 PM

COUGHTHATSBULLCRAPCOUGH...Excuse Me I Had Something In My Throat...Detrot Will Be For Now & Ever Be Known As HOCKEYTOWN!!

#69 55fan

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 04:34 PM

I live on the ND-MN border. When I got my car, I tried at least 30 vanity plates along the Red Wings theme before I found one that wasn't taken in ND. On the other hand, my friend's husband had no trouble getting TWOLVES in MN. FSN North carried the UND game rather than the Wild-Wings game the other night.

Is MN big on hockey? Sure, but the Vikes are bigger. I've seen Wings gear all over Fargo-Moorhead, but only 2 Wild shirts.

Whoever said that we should be Hockeynation was right. Consider my dad who followed the Wings faithfully during the Dead Era without the aid of cable TV, internet or Detroit newspapers. That's a fan. That's the kind of fans we are. Red to the end.

So some reporter wants to sell his work and get some national attention. He got it. I really can't see St. Paul taking this and running with it. It'll die down soon enough, and Hockeytown will still be Detroit.

#70 eva unit zero

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 04:35 PM

QUOTE(StormJH1 @ December 12, 2007 - 04:15PM) View Post
And, by the way, if the question were: Which U.S. fanbase has had the best hockey fans over the past 15 years, my answer is "Detroit," hands down. I love this club, and this organization. Growing up watching so many great Wings teams makes following the Wild or any other club feel like JV hockey. There's just something less professional, and less entertaining about everyone else, and that's not just homerism.

But Wild fans care about their team right now, they're showing up, and the whole city deserves the recognition it's getting. Name another expansion team since the early 90's that you can definitively say made the NHL better. Atlanta? Columbus? Nashville? Florida? You'd probably have to go back to Tampa Bay, Anaheim, or Ottawa, and even those 3 teams were disasters for long periods of time.


What exactly has Minnesota done to make the NHL better? If you mean in terms of the on ice product, two of the teams you mentioned have won the Cups, two more have gone to the finals. If you mean in terms of the off ice product, that's because you have a solid fan base that felt they were entitled to a team no matter what, so when the Gunds tried to move the club and the NHL blocked it, and then Green moved it after being the savior of Minnesota hockey, Minnesotans realized they had to go to games if they wanted to be guaranteed of keeping their team once they got one back.

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#71 Jwo

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 04:39 PM

QUOTE(StormJH1 @ December 12, 2007 - 09:47AM) View Post

Minnesota doesn't want to call themselves Hockeytown--it was Sports Illustrated and some other columnists (Yahoo!) that came out and said "You know, Detroit calls itself 'Hockeytown', but we should really give that title to a different city". The SI author's name is Michael Farber, I heard a 20-minute interview with him on Minnesota AM radio. He strongly considered Buffalo and Philadelphia too, but ended up with St. Paul b/c of the Wild, the excellent facility (which he considers the best rink in hockey), and the culture of hockey throughout the state.

I don't think Minnesotans actually care what Detroit wants to call itself, and people here have HUGE respect for the Red Wings, since many fans made the Wings their adopted team after the North Stars left in '93. What the Wild really want is to get out of the Central Division and get back their traditional rivalries with teams like Detroit, Chicago, and St. Louis. I went to a Wings/Wild game and 30% of the fans were Red Wings fans, and not all of them were Detroit transplants! Some of them were native Minnesotans who just like the Red Wings, and have been fans of the sport their whole lives. But the Wild have a pretty rabid fanbase of their own too...

The USA hockey program in Ann Arbor is great, and a lot of Minnesota kids actually go out to that program and then come back to play for the Gophers or at other levels. The high school hockey programs here really are the heart of what makes MN a great hockey state...Sidney Crosby played at Shattuck-St. Mary's in 02-03, which is kinda like a high school/hockey academy. It's a different type of hockey fan here, and I didn't get that at first. In Detroit, everything is kinda funneled through the Red Wings, but in Minnesota, there's a lot more "options" to choose from. The Gophers have a full Fox Sports Net contract, and every one of their games is televised with the same broadcast style you'd see for a Twins or Tigers game on FSN.


Too bad the Wild could not get a sweet deal like that. laugh.gif

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#72 toby91_ca

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 04:40 PM

QUOTE(eva unit zero @ December 12, 2007 - 04:25PM) View Post

I wasn't claiming attendance disqualifies the Twin Cities. I was correcting your statement that the Stars had good fan support. The Minnesota North Stars absolutely did NOT have good fan support. Here's some perspective...Washington is currently last in the league with an average 13,200 attendance. That number would have been the best year for the Minnesota North Stars. Minnesota's BEST year was worse than any existing team pulls in now. Nashville has gotten tons more fan support than the North Stars (or Jets or Whalers, for that matter) did, yet people feel they should lose their team for lack of an support. You think Minnesota should be the State of Hockey? I disagree. Michigan has the longest tradition of professional hockey in the world. The first professional hockey league was based in northern Michigan. USA Hockey's national team is based in Michigan. Two of the nation's best and most historic college hockey programs are in Michigan, as is what has been by far the most dominant professional club. So Detroit hasn't sold out every game this year,,,if how filled to capacity the NHL arena is is the guide to Hockeytown, that would make Anaheim hockeytown right now with 106%.

Not arguing against Detroit being hockeytown, but using the logic that they have the longest tradition of professional hockey in the world doesn't quite work for me since they will always have that unless they lose professional hockey alltogether, does that mean that they will always be the most deserving of hockeytown?

In terms of Minnesota attendance for the North Stars, I'm not sure it is relevant (we are talking about now, not the past), but just to dispute your claim that 13,200 would have been their best ever, data I have shows that in the 1992 and 1993 seasons, they averaged 13,447 and 13,910 respectively. It's also difficult to compare to today's attendances as well as I am not sure what capacity was, for all I know, capacity was 13,500, which makes those numbers look good. Their attendance was awful in 1991 and low in 1990. I don't have data earlier than that currently.

#73 vinnyfan4life

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 04:55 PM

QUOTE(Lou_Siffer @ December 9, 2007 - 11:50AM) View Post

Anything that might get rid of the Hockeytown song is good in my book!



lol man thats a good song lol

#74 RedFX

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 05:43 PM

I'd like to see St. Paul fill 20,000 seats with ticket prices starting at 100 bucks.
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#75 eva unit zero

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 06:18 PM

QUOTE(toby91_ca @ December 12, 2007 - 04:40PM) View Post

Not arguing against Detroit being hockeytown, but using the logic that they have the longest tradition of professional hockey in the world doesn't quite work for me since they will always have that unless they lose professional hockey alltogether, does that mean that they will always be the most deserving of hockeytown?

In terms of Minnesota attendance for the North Stars, I'm not sure it is relevant (we are talking about now, not the past), but just to dispute your claim that 13,200 would have been their best ever, data I have shows that in the 1992 and 1993 seasons, they averaged 13,447 and 13,910 respectively. It's also difficult to compare to today's attendances as well as I am not sure what capacity was, for all I know, capacity was 13,500, which makes those numbers look good. Their attendance was awful in 1991 and low in 1990. I don't have data earlier than that currently.


Alright, how aout this one. The Wings averaged attendance around 16000 in their worst season ever. The North Stars averaged less than 8000 in their best season ever. And you're right...13,200 would have only been about the third or fourth best season for the north stars for attendance...still proves my point.

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#76 toby91_ca

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 10:29 AM

QUOTE(RedFX @ December 12, 2007 - 05:43PM) View Post

I'd like to see St. Paul fill 20,000 seats with ticket prices starting at 100 bucks.

As far as I can tell, not a single team in the history of the league has done that.

#77 A.T.Hun

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 10:46 AM

I think the article and the argument is a bit on the dopey side. Having said that, I was able to see the Wings play the Wild at St. Paul a couple of years ago. The Xcel Energy Center is a terrific. The place was packed on a Monday night and there was a ton of energy. When Stevie scored for the Wings, I heard a Wild fan behind me say, "You just saw a goal scored by one of the greats." There was a vocal minority of Wings fans there. I had some good hockey-related discussions with the people around me--including about why the North Stars failed and bemoaning that the current ownership wasn't doing enough to win despite a sold-out building. The only "argument" I got into was a disagreement on an icing touch-up (I still think Schneider got there first). There was also the obviously well-to-do but equally obviously drunk Wild fan who said something incomprehensible to me at the end of the game, which the Wings won. I took it as a compliment smile.gif

The point is that "Hockeytown" is a marketing gimmick that isn't really worth getting all that worked up about. Hopefully this new guy the Wings hired can get the Joe filled again.

#78 jaytan

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 04:04 PM

I think things are fine as is. Minnesota is the State of Hockey (replete with an anthem and flag laugh.gif ) and until someone rips it from Detroit, it should remain Hockeytown, USA.

Both areas produce towns of players and have a lot going on in terms of NHL, collegiate and minor hockey, but Minnesota's lost an NHL team and hasn't ever won a Cup. Detroit's Original Six and has more Cups than any other team in the country.
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#79 auxlepli

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Posted 22 December 2007 - 08:18 AM

St. Paul is not Hockeytown. The Wild don't want that title.
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