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unsaddleddonald

Red Wings popularity in Detroit/Michigan

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This thread is full of s***. Everytime I come to this site all you guys do is talk about Red Wings this, Red Wings that. Hockey must be pretty f'ing popular. Nobody talks about how Angelina Jolie is too skinny, how Oprah is too fat, just hockey, hockey, hockey. LOL.

Here in columbus, my friends think it's odd that where I grew up in MI every driveway had a goalie net in it like the driveways here have basketball nets. Our Gordie is their Archie. Strange since we are so close to eachother. Like a previous poster stated outside of MI and Min hockey is down the chain.

I think he was joking, but it's obvious selection bias to come to an internet forum for discussion of a particular NHL team and remark how popular hockey seems to be around these parts...

There IS a problem of waning popularity with the Red Wings in metro Detroit, however. In the late 90's (when it was a very special time to be Red Wings fan), we could look to cities like Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago, etc. and it was easy to feel like we were "Hockeytown". Those cities have excellent fanbases now.

It will be interesting if moving to the East has any impact on the appeal of the team. Detroit was already a fixture with the national media, but will be moreso now that we'll play and compete for position with the likes of NYR, TOR, MTL, BOS, etc.

The mid-2000's, unlike the 90's, had us playing a huge chunk of games against recent expansion teams in crappy markets, namely Nashville and Columbus. Who was our biggest "rival" in the 2000's....the Ducks? You could argue it the Hawks later, but they didn't get the upper hand on us until the decade was over. The Penguins "rivalry" only applied to two consecutive finals.

Think about East Coast markets that have flourished recently, and all of them have several huge rivalries that seem to matter even when one or both of the teams aren't that great (PHI/PIT, NYR/NJ, NYR/WAS, PIT/WAS, MTL/TOR, etc.) Detroit had nothing like that dating back to Colorado, and I think that really hurt the interest.

unsaddleddonald likes this

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First of all, listening to 97.1 is the first problem, especially Valenti and Foster. Sencond, the NFL and MLB will always be #1 and #2 in the country and any state, because more kids pay it growing up, not because it is better, but it is easier to assemble a neighborhood cast of players and run around a field than it is to rent ice, gather enough players to offset the ungodly ice fee PLUS find ONE, let alone TWO goalies that actually know how to pay the position good enough to make shooting at him/her fun, PLUS hope that everyone has all the required equipment.

That doesn't make playing baseball or football more fun, just easier to do as a kid growing up. That is why the NHL is what it is in Canada, they have backyard rinks and most kids have the hand me down equipment from big brother or dad. It's just easier to play football and baseball as a kid here.

Now that being said, those of us who were fortunate enough to grow up playing hockey, for one reason or another, will ALWAYS rank the NHL #1 over the NFL or MLB, but don't get me wrong, I was very, VERY ecstatic in 1984 and for the Tigers the last two times they went to the Series. I was the same way in 1989 and 1990 and 2004 for the Pistons and I am very excited every year to see if the Lions can actually become something. I will never hold ANY of those Championships or future ones higher than ANY of our Cups, or future Cups, but for that one moment in time, when the Tigers/Pistons/Lions ever win a championship again, I will take my attention away from the Wings to celebrate and enjoy. I feel the same about College sports as well. Hockey #1, then the rest on a winning basis. But the majority of the population, same with professional sports, would take Football, then basketball in the NCAA before College Hockey or even College Baseball.

That is what makes us NHL fans special. We don't follow the crowd and do what everyone else does. Sure, we all grew up playing Football and Baseball as well, but it was something about Hockey that we fell in love with and it shows to this day. I love the NHL more than anything, I would chose the Winter Classic of ANY bowl game on January 1st. Being honest though, if it came down to watching the Red Wings play a regular season game on Superbowl Sunday if the Lions were there, I'd have to watch the Lions...Same would go with the Tigers in the World Series...now the Pistons in a game 7 of the Finals would probably lose out to the Wings, but I would switch back and forth...

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I think he was joking, but it's obvious selection bias to come to an internet forum for discussion of a particular NHL team and remark how popular hockey seems to be around these parts...

There IS a problem of waning popularity with the Red Wings in metro Detroit, however. In the late 90's (when it was a very special time to be Red Wings fan), we could look to cities like Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago, etc. and it was easy to feel like we were "Hockeytown". Those cities have excellent fanbases now.

It will be interesting if moving to the East has any impact on the appeal of the team. Detroit was already a fixture with the national media, but will be moreso now that we'll play and compete for position with the likes of NYR, TOR, MTL, BOS, etc.

The mid-2000's, unlike the 90's, had us playing a huge chunk of games against recent expansion teams in crappy markets, namely Nashville and Columbus. Who was our biggest "rival" in the 2000's....the Ducks? You could argue it the Hawks later, but they didn't get the upper hand on us until the decade was over. The Penguins "rivalry" only applied to two consecutive finals.

Think about East Coast markets that have flourished recently, and all of them have several huge rivalries that seem to matter even when one or both of the teams aren't that great (PHI/PIT, NYR/NJ, NYR/WAS, PIT/WAS, MTL/TOR, etc.) Detroit had nothing like that dating back to Colorado, and I think that really hurt the interest.

BOS/MTL

Edited by number9

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I really hope that the renewed rivalry with some of the original 6 especially Toronto will help increasing the appeal of this team again. Management needs to build this team with more of a top 6 bottom 6 thinking. Fans love hardworking hardnosed guys and are excited when a team has to offer other things than just skill.

I am still confident that the east will help the Wings when it comes to popularity. The Joe is going to be sold out more often, fans from Toronto, Montreal and whatnot like to travel

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I really hope that the renewed rivalry with some of the original 6 especially Toronto will help increasing the appeal of this team again. Management needs to build this team with more of a top 6 bottom 6 thinking. Fans love hardworking hardnosed guys and are excited when a team has to offer other things than just skill.

I am still confident that the east will help the Wings when it comes to popularity. The Joe is going to be sold out more often, fans from Toronto, Montreal and whatnot like to travel

That is a good point. While Detroit isn't exactly a "destination", there are better fan bases in the East that will travel for games, and the allure of seeing their favorite team against an Original Six team could give a little additional attendance.

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If the Lions were to ever win anything, you would see how huge football is here. Even with them sucking, they are still very very popular.

Completely agree.

I put hockey first, but only because i played for ten years and I happened to be good enough that my coaches didnt want me playing football. But the majority of the new generation of religious detroit sports fans had the pleasure of growing up watching Barry sanders, and Herman moore, who in my case I, idolized for the way they conducted themselves during the peak of their success.

Watching t.o. run to the center of the star in Dallas to spike the ball, compared to literally running out of a pile of 8 men using finger tips to keep him upright, then breaking three more tackles on his way to the end zone and celebrating by handing the ball to the ref and calmly walking to the sideline.

As a kid just starting to go through puberty,Barry had that confidence that you aspired to have.

He acted like he had scored before and cared about more then one good play.

We were pretty spoiled with him, and yzerman, and Lidstrom, and now Pavel and z.

Megatron brings my excitement back to football though.

Seeing someone that talented that humble, and clear headed is awesome.

But for every calvin there is three+ titus youngs.

Which is why the wings will always win in my mind.

But I'd be remissed to say, that I'm not a fan of the lions.

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Here's some reading material for you on a very similar topic I started 2 months ago:

http://www.letsgowings.com/forums/topic/74703-971-the-ticket-hocketown-dead/

It is an interesting topic to me, though, especially now as an out-of-market fan.

Detroit is a good sports town, all-around, but I think it's a very balanced sports town. I'm almost 32 now, so I grew up through a very unique period where the Wings really were the biggest and best thing in town from maybe 1997 to 2002. The NFL is the biggest and most popular professional sport, whether you're talking about New York, Detroit, or some market that doesn't even have a team. On that basis, you could always say that the NFL is king. But I've never bought that the Lions have EVER been the most beloved local sports team in Metro Detroit. There's a lot of schadenfreude going on with Lions viewership. Even here with the Minnesota Vikings (which has its own painful history of losing and disappointment), it's still undeniably cool to be a Vikings fan and wear Vikings stuff. When I grew up in Detroit, you literally got made fun of in school if you wore Lions stuff. That's definitely changed nowadays, but the stink of hilarious failure will stick with that team until they take a knee to close out a Super Bowl win, IF that ever happens.

I disagree that the Tigers have "always" been the favorite, but since 2006 (or perhaps the NHL lockout), the passion that the average Detroit sports fan used to have for the Red Wings has shifted to Comerica Park. I moved away in 2003, so it's been bizarre for me ever since to see all this love for the Tigers on Facebook for people that I know could have cared less about the team when Buddy Bell managed them.

But sports fans are all frontrunners. You could argue that the Pistons "owned" 2002 to 2004, also. The Wings popularity in the late 90's was great, but it was also an anomaly. Just like Rangers in '94, the true fans will stay, but you can't recapture the magic of a really good rivalry (in their case, NJ), coupled with killing a 40-year Cup drought.

Your comment was tops man.

And you used shadenfreude, which although is technically not an English word, is literally the best explanation for the fascination of the lions(post 94')

Literally a full article couldn't describe it better then that one word.

So, kudos.

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I think football's popularity comes down to 2 things. First, a ton of people play it and in a lot I'd places it's THE sport for their high school. Second, there are so few games people don't get bored with them. Longer seasons have too many "meaningless" games, where in football, especially major college football, every game is important.

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I think football's popularity comes down to 2 things. First, a ton of people play it and in a lot I'd places it's THE sport for their high school. Second, there are so few games people don't get bored with them. Longer seasons have too many "meaningless" games, where in football, especially major college football, every game is important.

I think geography plays into it too, you have a better chance of selling salt water to a Hawaiian then getting ice hockey popular in the south.

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I think football's popularity comes down to 2 things. First, a ton of people play it and in a lot I'd places it's THE sport for their high school. Second, there are so few games people don't get bored with them. Longer seasons have too many "meaningless" games, where in football, especially major college football, every game is important.

I think geography plays into it too, you have a better chance of selling salt water to a Hawaiian then getting ice hockey popular in the south.

It does, but if the NHL puts some effort into getting kids playing and can change the perception that it's a "white sport" I think most of the southern markets could be solid. Last year 4 of the bottom teams in percentage of tickets sold were older markets, NJ, St. Louis, the Isles, and Avs. Colorado being down is hilarious the way they bragged about their attendance right after they got a ready made contending team from day 1.

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What's wrong with hockey being a white sport? Every sport has a main audience, hockey survived just fine by being a niche sport for a small target group and places with special weather conditions. The problems of the past were trying to put hockey into markets which don't support it. Another problem is the NHL is so focused on supporting non fans and questionable destinations by sacrificing people who are already fans and keeping great owners from icing the best possible roster.

The Wings even with a great team might not be as popular as the lions but I think they would at least be a bigger draw then they are right now. As a fan I really hope the move to the east will help in terms of sellouts and regain some of the lost magic,

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What's wrong with hockey being a white sport? Every sport has a main audience, hockey survived just fine by being a niche sport for a small target group and places with special weather conditions. The problems of the past were trying to put hockey into markets which don't support it.

Are you serious?

And in case you didn't know, Detroit didn't support the Wings for a lot of years. Should they have lost their team?

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Are you serious?

And in case you didn't know, Detroit didn't support the Wings for a lot of years. Should they have lost their team?

Yes I am serious their is a difference between no support and not caring at all. For example some NHL teams are having ticket prices like 10 dollar a game plus free food parking and all the other stuff, the attention rate is still weak what does that tell? Simple people in certain cities are not interested in the NHL. It's the same in other sports too not every market can and will support certain sports. Big cities like New York are the exception not the norm.

I am not saying these fans should lose their teams but holding back teams like the Wings and others because of some weak markets can't be a solution either. And yes, I think 30 teams is too much for the NHL would be prefer around 16.

No other major sport is sacrificing so much fans for non fans like the NHL does and like it or not, that's also a reason why the Wings aren't as popular as they once were which is sad.

Edited by frankgrimes

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Yeah, they're not winning Cups.

To make the game better you need the best possible athletes playing the sport. To do that you need to expand the base of available players, which means expanding the game to new markets and giving them time. I was talking to someone from Dallas about how the game had grown and he said there used to never be kids playing hockey there. Now a lot of kids play. That can only be good for the game unless you're some xenophobic bigoted dinosaur.

Fans complain hockey doesn't get respect or coverage then complain about attempts to grow the game. Can't have it both ways.

Edited by DickieDunn
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No other major sport is sacrificing so much fans for non fans like the NHL does and like it or not, that's also a reason why the Wings aren't as popular as they once were which is sad.

I mean, okay, we can find some truth with the first part of the statement. Maybe. But that doesn't explain why the sport has had an explosion in popularity in other U.S. markets. It's only perceived as a "decline" here in Detroit because the sport was huge here while it sucked as an event in so many other markets.

I agree that Bettman and Company have been guilty of catering too much to the non-fans in terms of the shootout and things that affect the actual product, but I also seriously doubt that "real" hockey fans stop watching because of that. We just complain about it, present company included.

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What's wrong with hockey being a white sport? ,

This is one of the more ignorant things I've read in awhile.

Edited by DickieDunn

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It does, but if the NHL puts some effort into getting kids playing and can change the perception that it's a "white sport" I think most of the southern markets could be solid. Last year 4 of the bottom teams in percentage of tickets sold were older markets, NJ, St. Louis, the Isles, and Avs. Colorado being down is hilarious the way they bragged about their attendance right after they got a ready made contending team from day 1.

Agreed, if Seth Jones turns out to be as good as he's supposed to be I think having him and pk being higher tier defensemen that the league can market will help bridge the racial divide, even if only because sports center will want to show how Popeye Jones' son is doing, its still good press.

And as a long time wings fan, its hard not to get a little satisfaction out of seeing the avs so low.

Edited by jimmyemeryhunter

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I mean, okay, we can find some truth with the first part of the statement. Maybe. But that doesn't explain why the sport has had an explosion in popularity in other U.S. markets. It's only perceived as a "decline" here in Detroit because the sport was huge here while it sucked as an event in so many other markets.

I agree that Bettman and Company have been guilty of catering too much to the non-fans in terms of the shootout and things that affect the actual product, but I also seriously doubt that "real" hockey fans stop watching because of that. We just complain about it, present company included.

Explosion? Looking at some arenas there are often lots of empty seats and it's not because they have high ticket prices - like I mentioned some are basically giving them away - maybe just maybe not enough people are interested in the NHL. I don't know about the ratings but I think the lockout combined with the catering to non-fans has had some sort of impact of course nobody will ever know how big/small because the NHL would never publish such stats.

As for Avalanche I couldn't care less about them, the only chance for a renewed rivalry would be playing against them again, which won't happen for a long time because the Wings would need to come out of the east and the Avs be the winners of the West and personally speaking I'd love having Landeskog or Duchene on the Wings.

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What's wrong with hockey being a white sport? Every sport has a main audience, hockey survived just fine by being a niche sport for a small target group and places with special weather conditions. The problems of the past were trying to put hockey into markets which don't support it. Another problem is the NHL is so focused on supporting non fans and questionable destinations by sacrificing people who are already fans and keeping great owners from icing the best possible roster.The Wings even with a great team might not be as popular as the lions but I think they would at least be a bigger draw then they are right now. As a fan I really hope the move to the east will help in terms of sellouts and regain some of the lost magic,

Comments like that are the reason hockey is viewed as a racist sport in general.

You have To grow the market, to where were not talking about which teams will have to be relocated, or all the revenue sharing that helped cause the second lockout in the last two cba discussions.

More people into the sport, more funding for the sport, at all levels.

Especially the u.s. and I don't know about you but I'd live to have more elite talent come from the states for gold medals and a point of pride.

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Comments like that are the reason hockey is viewed as a racist sport in general.

You have To grow the market, to where were not talking about which teams will have to be relocated, or all the revenue sharing that helped cause the second lockout in the last two cba discussions.

More people into the sport, more funding for the sport, at all levels.

Especially the u.s. and I don't know about you but I'd live to have more elite talent come from the states for gold medals and a point of pride.

Why should I care how others are viewing the sport? I don't like soccer but I am sure soccer fans couldn't care less how non-fans are viewing their sport and to me it is the same with the NHL, personally I care about one thing:

seeing the best possible Wings roster out on the ice and another cup for the best owner in all of sports

If people are viewing the sport as <insert whatever> fine, couldn't care less. Also a market can only grow for so long at some point you can't grow it anymore. As a fan its not my job to talk about growing the game, expanding it or anything else I have picked the Wings and I what them to do well if others are having trouble and what not too bad for them but not Wings related so their problem.

Personally speaking, I think as hockey fans sometimes more pride in supporting a "more" niche sport would be a good thing. Sometimes if things aren't broken, it is better to not fix them..

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If you want to put it ins Wings centric point of view, let's say somewhere in Florida there is a 12 year old kid kid very similar to Calvin Johnson, only instead of football or basketball, he started playing hockey because TB has a team. 6 years from now he's 6'5" and has the frame to fill out to around 240 pounds with all that speed and athletic ability, and Detroit ends up drafting him. He never would have played hockey if if hadn't been for NHL expansion, and now Detroit has a future superstar.

If the NHL expands their player base that type of scenario will happen. Maybe not with Detroit drafting him, but a star player from one of those terrible markets.

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How can you call a system that has taken 150+ games of datsyuks prime from us not broken?

My bad I will rephrase it:

I think the system the NHL had pre 2005 was not broken, so no need to fix it. The lockout has taken a lot of good things from Wingsfans and I am sure this is also a reason why the popularity is declining. Most people don't like to watch millionaires fighting billionaires in tough economic times.

The good thing is, this is also a chance for the new Wings core to get some fans back and at least have the city more interested in the DRW once again.

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How can you call a system that has taken 150+ games of datsyuks prime from us not broken?

That system wasn't in place until major expansion and pandering to the lowest common denominator took effect. Lock outs were a direct result of expansion, as is the salary cap and revenue sharing. It's negatively affected the sport just as much as positively, if not moreso. I was a much happier hockey fan 10 years ago. I find myself watching fewer games outside of ones the Wings aren't playing. And I'm not the only one - many fans I know just don't feel the same as they used to, and it's having a direct effect on the bottom line. I'll bet dollars to donuts Wings fans spend a lot more on merchandise than Columbus, Nashville, Florida and Phoenix fans, or at least used to before 2006.

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So you were good with the NHL 10 years ago. When there were 30 NHL teams, all of which are playing where they're currently located except for Winnipeg. The difference is the Wings were a dominant team then and now they aren't.

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