DETROIT (WWJ) – It’s Detroit’s next big thing and the Red Wings announced Tuesday that tickets for the national outdoor game between the Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Big House on New Year’s Day are sold out.
Olympia Entertainment President Tom Wilson says that with two weeks of events in Detroit and Ann Arbor, the Winter Classic in some ways will be bigger than the Super Bowl.
“We’re talking about 250,000 people coming here for hockey at Comerica Park and the Big House,” said Wilson. “Most of whom are somewhat local but a lot of whom are coming in from other parts. You can’t get the attention with any other event that you can get with a super bowl but this is going to be really great for the city.”
WWJ’s Sandra McNeill asked Wilson what, exactly, will people in the stands be able to see?
“You are going to see some small people,” Wilson laughed. “But there is a huge score board or huge video board on either end – you are away from it but the game is fun, the game is exciting, it’s the atmosphere and the experience that you can’t duplicate any place else.”
About a third of the tickets sold went to fans in Toronto:
“They bought about thirty-some thousand tickets – you don’t know what happens on the secondary market because there is such a demand for these tickets so it’s hard to say how many will actually be here,” Wilson said.
But Wilson notes that if just the 30,000 or so Canadian fans come to Detroit – that could mean a big win for hotels and restaurants in the area.
The NHL will stage two alumni games as well as a fan fest at Comerica Park.
Those tickets are still available.