Originally posted on It's Always Sunny in Detroit  |  Last updated 1/16/12

The National Hockey League has all but finalized an agreement for the Detroit Red Wings to host the Toronto Maple Leafs in next year's Winter Classic. The City of Detroit, while being one of the prominent hockey cities in America (self-dubbed "Hockeytown"), has never hosted a Winter Classic. And at this time next year, it still will have not hosted one. That's because the NHL has decided that the City of Ann Arbor, home of Michigan Stadium, the University of Michigan's 110,000-plus seat football stadium, will host the event.

The Winter Classic, which originated in 2008, has always been played in Buffalo, Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. All five games have been played in an outdoor stadium of another professional sports team in that city. So why has the NHL decided that Michigan Stadium is the best place to act as the Red Wings home ice? $. Apparently it doesn't matter that the "Big House" is 43 miles away from Comerica Park, the obvious venue according to this guy.

The reasoning behind why the game should be at Comerica Park are obvious. For one, the City of Detroit has is the home of the Red Wings. Every other Winter Classic, save for Buffalo's because the Bills play in Orchard Park, New York, has been played in the city limits of the host's city. Second, the Red Wings owner, Mike Ilitch, also owns the Tigers. Third, an outdoor hockey game at Michigan Stadium has been done before (December 2010) whereas Comerica Park has never seen an event outside of baseball or concerts. Fourth and maybe most importantly, the Red Wings have been a cash cow for the NHL over the last decade. The least the league could do is pat the city on the back.

Unsurprisingly, the NHL will be using Detroit and Wings fans in a poor attempt at a selfish money grab. Fans will still come because the event is what it is. But it'd be a lot more special of an event if it marked Comerica Park's first hockey game.


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