DETROIT (WWJ) – Tuesday night marks the return of Red Wings hockey to downtown Detroit ¬†as the “Winged Wheelers” drop the puck against the Dallas Stars at 7:30 p.m. Among the happiest to see hockey back are downtown restaurant and bar owners, like Jimmy Britt, general manager at “Cobo Joes” who says business was way off without the Wings.

“Oh yeah, probably 90 percent. For all the employees here, the business, the city of Detroit … put a dent in all of us,” said Britt. “But thank goodness they came to an agreement now, this could have been taken care of six months – a year ago.”

Despite being happy for hockey’s return, local business owners, like Vaughn Derderian of the Anchor Bar, says significant financial damage has been done.

“I save money in the winter time like a little squirrel for the summer time,” said Derderian. “It’s just not going to be there … I’m sure Red Wing fans will come out to support the game because they love Ilitch, I love Ilitch, I love the organization, but I really hate what happened.”

All 24 home games in this shortened season for the Wings will include giveaways and special incentives for the fans.


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