Thursday, the worst kept secret of the decade will be revealed when the Red Wings,NHL, and University of Michigan are expected to officially announce the details of the 2013 Winter Classic. According to published reports, The Red Wings will host the Toronto Maple Leafs on January 1 at Michigan Stadium. Comerica Park will probably host other events including the Wings-Leafs alumni game, the GLI featuring Michigan and Michigan State, and a couple of OHL games featuring the Plymouth Whalers, Windsor Spitfires, and Saginaw Spirit. The last week of 2012 certainly will be a hockey festival in downtown Detroit.
While this should be a great event, it is possible that based on this year’s Winter Classic in Philadelphia, the festivities may be too expensive for everyone to participate. Granted the situation will be different because of Michigan Stadiums capacity, but fans who want to attend just the game at The Big House may be shut out unless they buy tickets to at least one of the other events. And don’t blame the Red Wings or the University of Michigan. The NHL has paid three million dollars to have full control of the event and they are the one’s setting the ticket prices. Here is an excerpt from a Philadelphia Inquirer story which explains what one Flyers season ticket holder had to do to attend.
John Bakley, 41, a Mantua Township resident who works as a teacher’s assistant at Gloucester County College, is among the many season-ticket holders upset with the handling fees for his tickets. He purchased two tickets that were just below the mid-level price for the Winter Classic at $149 each. The fees for the tickets totaled $67.50, he said. Bakley was also forced to buy two tickets to the alumni game (he paid $72 each, plus fees that totaled $32) and two tickets to the Adirondack Phantoms-Hershey Bears AHL game ($33 each, plus fees that totaled $6).
All told, Bakley paid $508 for two tickets to each of the three games. He said he would not have purchased the tickets to the Dec. 31 alumni game or Jan. 6 AHL game if it wasn’t mandatory. His fees for the tickets: $105.50.
“It’s not criminal, but it should be,” Bakley said. “You can’t find anyone who can justify it – short of having Reggie Leach personally bring me the tickets.”
Here is a chart of what the face value of the tickets were last season. Keep in mind you had to buy tickets to all three.
With the prospect of more than five other games besides the NHL game, I would not be surprised if you had to buy tickets to at least one or two other games to go see the Wings and Leafs. Hopefully this will not be the case, but my advice is to be prepared to spend big money on some games that you have no desire to see.