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Red Wings owner’s first choice for Winter Classic was Comerica Park

Feb 10, 2012, 8:00 AM EDT

Mike Ilitch, Gary Bettman AP

Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch is loyal to Detroit. It’s where his teams play and his businesses are headquartered. It’s his hometown.

With that in mind, it shouldn’t be shocking that Brendan Savage reports Ilitich’s first choice for the 2013 Winter Classic was Detroit’s Comerica Park rather than Ann Arbor’s Big House. Ultimately, Ilitch acknowledged the obvious economic advantages of having about 115,000 fans vs. about 40,000, so the Big House won out.

It didn’t come without some major concessions, though – namely, all the events that will happen at Comerica Park. NHL.com’s Brian Hedger discusses what’s scheduled for the weekend of the 2013 event.

That rink will play host to a number of hockey-related events over a two-week span leading up to the big game in Ann Arbor — including the NHL Alumni Showdown, the tradition-rich Great Lakes Invitational college tournament, two games between Ontario Hockey League teams, one game between the American Hockey League affiliates of Detroit and Toronto, high school and youth contests and even an open skate.

Two rinks, one common goal: To celebrate the sport of hockey at all levels and make sure that Ilitch’s beloved hometown gets its share of attention and economic advantages from hosting what’s become an NHL signature event.

In other words, everyone wins – including the city of Detroit.

  1. bensawesomeness - Feb 10, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    This suprises a grand total of zero people.

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