By Will Burchfield
In their final season at Joe Louis Arena, the Detroit Red Wings are in the midst of a six-year-long sellout streak — or so they say.
The team issued a statement on Saturday claiming that night’s game against the Anaheim Ducks would mark the 250th consecutive sellout at the Joe.
“The Detroit Red Wings are set to skate in front of a capacity crowd (20, 027) at Joe Louis Arena for the 250th straight time tonight (Saturday),” the statement read. “Since the sellout streak began on Dec. 19, 2010 against the Dallas Stars, the Red Wings have welcomed more than four million fans to Joe Louis Arena.”
The issue, of course, is the Wings haven’t played in front of a capacity crowd since their home-opener on Oct. 17. For most home games this season, the Joe has appeared about 75 percent full.
The crowd for Thursday night’s game was particularly sparse.
Technically, the team can claim a sellout if all of the seats are sold. But it’s dishonest to say they will “skate in front of a capacity crowd,” just as it’s likely an exaggeration that they’ve “welcomed more than four million fans” into the arena since the streak began.
Nevertheless, the Red Wings will hang banners outside the Joe to commemorate their 250th consecutive sellout. In addition, billboards throughout Metro Detroit will deliver a thank you message to the fans — most of whom have been watching at home.