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A trifecta of posts over three days? Amazing!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007
You want the Dis or Dat? You want the Dis or Dat?! You can't handle the Dis or Dat!

In other news, the Detroit Red Wings beat the Sharks 2-0 last night, securing themselves a spot in the Western Conference Finals where they'll face the Anaheim Ducks. I'm sure what I'm about to say next won't come as a shock to any readers, but let me just make it abundantly clear that I want to see the Wings crash and burn in a miserably embarassing display of pathetic play against the Ducks. I do not want Hockeytown to win the Stanley Cup this season.

Of course you could presume I say this simply because I'm a Blue Jackets' fan, or that since I live in Columbus, OSU has affected my feelings towards that stupid state north of me, and thus resulted in having an innate loathing for all things Michigan. If anything, those would be just minor motivations.

To be frank, Detroit winning a Stanley Cup would not be good either for the NHL, or for fans in Detroit. Crazy logic considering just how much you hear about there being Red Wings fans across the U.S. due to the team's bandwagon appeal, huh? Mind you, this is just my humble opinion, and I'm no financial or marketing expert.

But look at what we already know: The Red Wings are desperately trying to sell out their home games, but to no avail. Of course we've all heard the reasons ... the price hike to tickets despite the sagging Detroit economy; the competition with an equally dominant Pistons team in the NBA, or the Tigers in the MLB, both of whom are taking a great, big bite in to that chewy, delicious sports market.

Furthermore, the Red Wings have been accused by some Detroit bloggers as being out of touch when it comes to marketing and fan appreciation. While other teams in the National Hockey League must regularly attempt to draw their fans through giveaways, appreciative gestures and special events, the Red Wings continue to sit on their hands and just take advantage of their playoff run. Three Stanley Cups in three years is nothing to disregard, but it isn't enough if you're still losing fans. It still amazes me how that "waiting list" that Detroit regularly touted for season tickets just ... vanished overnight.

Some things, a Stanley Cup just will not fix. A Stanley Cup for Detroit is not going to bring any more fans to their games. And do you know why? Ticket prices would once again raise the following season. If fans are already showing disapproval of the current ticket hike for these playoffs by not selling out the Joe, what makes you think they'll come back next season when those prices are made even higher, regardless of the fact that the Wings have a shiny, giant, silver trophy that doesn't float in Mario Lemieux's pool to their credit the previous season?

Detroit may be "Hockeytown", but unless it up and moves several dozens miles north in to Canadian territory through the wonders of magic relocation, the team can not afford to raise ticket prices any more, even with a new Stanley Cup win to add to their belt. After all, they're not in Toronto.

Sometimes, the best thing to happen to a team is to lose. And frankly, if Detroit wants to see Ilitch and team management do anything about the disconnection to their fans, both hardcore and casual, they need to make changes off the ice and in their financial and P.R. strategy. And for starters, they might want to try something like ... oh, I don't know ... having practices open to the public?

Besides ... I can't be the only one here who would like to see a new team win the Cup now that three of the four remaining teams have never won one, right?

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  • At 8:03 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    As someone who grew up a Leafs fan (and who has to deal with a few particularly obnoxious Sens fans regularly), I'd rather eat glass than see Ottawa win the Cup.

    That said, I agree with you, and I'd far rather see Anaheim or Buffalo win the Cup, all things considered.

    Besides, the Sabres are about 8 years overdue.

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