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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hey, Hey Hockeytown?

My latest, and first on this site, gripe has to do with the sudden national attention that is being given to Detroit being considered "Hockeytown." There was a Sports Illustrated article about a year ago that proclaimed Minneapolis the new Hockeytown, and, now with the All-Star game having been in Montreal, yet another SI article proclaimed Montreal Hockeytown.

The crazy thing about this is that national pundits seem to believe that the "Hockeytown" moniker is something that is easily transferable, and Detroit should just give it up. This outlook couldn't be any sillier. "Hockeytown" is a trademarked name owned by Illitch Holdings, or, in other words, Mike Illitch, the owner of the team. In other words, the City of Detroit does NOT own the rights to the name (someone may want to tell the mayor of Pittsburgh). If another city wants to call themselves "Puckcity" or "Checksville" (bad I know) that's fine, but it's a trademarked name, and Illitch did it first, so he clearly has the rights to it.

Detroit hockey fans haven't been out in full force at the Joe lately, but, really, who can blame them entirely? I know the Wings are the defending Cup champs, I know they're one of the best teams in the league this year, but the people of Metro Detroit don't exactly have the funds to be spending upwards of $50 a seat on pro sports. Michigan State was supposed to have a 2009 regular season game at Ford Field against Western Michigan, but that was moved back to Spartan Stadium due to the economy. It would clearly be easier to sell seats for the game if they were stuffed into season ticket packages of Spartan fans. The Red Wings put a great product out on the ice, but it's not a cheap one.

I'm going to the game on February 25th against San Jose, my first wings game in a long while. I will recognize that I'm in Hockeytown, not entirely because Detroit deserves to be that above any other locale, but because of the TM next to that logo at center ice.

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