Eric Thomas: Pros and Cons Of The NHL Winter Classic

Reasons to be excited that the NHL Winter Classic is coming to the Big House:

1. The visuals. There is simply nothing like the HDTV image of the Big House, packed to the gills. It’s a sea of humanity that jumps and roars. There will be copious amounts of crowd shots, which I suppose is cool.

2. Availability of tickets. Putting 100,000 seats on sale means that there will be a lot more people going to the game.

3. Ann Arbor is cool. Finally the stupid out-of-town media can cover something OTHER than the bombed out buildings and threat of violence. Maybe when they are surrounded by the Michigan Googolplex and thriving growth we won’t have to hear about the economic woes of the past 4 years.

4. The Wings will feel the love. Let’s just be honest, our sports stars like attention. Nothing like a 100,000 member army wearing red sweaters to make a team feel appreciated.

5. It’s a reason for Lidstrom to come back next season. Even if they win the cup.

Reasons to be disappointed that the NHL Winter Classic is coming to the Big House:

1. The visuals. No Ren Cen, Ambassador Bridge or Ford Field. I really loved the idea of a tight shot on the rink that spirals out of Comerica, revealing the city when it gets wider.

2. The availability of tickets. If the Classic was at Comerica, people would be selling their pets into slavery to get tickets. Being there would actually mean something rather than just being another number on a metal bench seat.

3 No party in the D. The owners of bars and restaurants downtown are probably feeling robbed. It would have been perfect. Get a sitter, ring in the New Year downtown, hotel and get breakfast on the walk to Comerica. Would have been great.

4. Economics where needed. Ann Arbor doesn’t really need the boost. Downtown businesses always needs a push. Seems like this is an instance where the rich just get richer.

5. This will be folded into the UM / MSU rivalry. Somehow, someway. I will be nauseated when it happens.

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