Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Venue: Not a Mundane Detail, Michael

So, about the OHL playing a game at Michigan Stadium thing. Not happening, from the sound of it!

After Dave Ablauf told the Michigan Daily that the rumors were "not true" this morning, Matt Slovin was able to further confirm:

[A]n OHL source with one of the teams involved informed the Daily that the league is, in fact, planning an outdoor doubleheader. The source went on to name Detroit’s Comerica Park as the most likely venue.

A couple of others asked around and heard similar things. Spath talked with Red about it and apparently got the glare. Sorry, Mike! (And sorry to Dave Brandon for blowing up his Twitter feed, though I still think that was a good exercise, just in case there were any lingering thoughts!)

As for the original source of the rumor, there's this now:
As soon as I heard last night that Comerica is likely setting up a rink I agree that that will be the site of #OHL DH Dec. 31

So as it turns out, this:
Can confirm NHL has approved the CHL request to play an outdoor DH @ Big House Dec. 31st. Teams not confirmed but LDN/SAG, WSR/PLY likely

...turned out to be not entirely true and wasn't actually based on any knowledge of the venue. The other reporter for CTV, Norman James, is now saying Comerica Park as well:
What we know at this point is that the NHL has approved a CHL request to hold multiple outdoor games December 31st in Detroit. The target venue seems to be Comerica Park, where we could see the Knights and Spitfires in action against the OHL's two Michigan based clubs.
That makes much more sense. It's closer to Windsor, closer to London, roughly the same distance from Plymouth, and no one in Saginaw gives a crap anyway. Plus you aren't making Red Berenson's head explode. Or mine.

Anyway, in hindsight, I wish I had tweeted at the original reporter and asked the "Are you sure it's the Big House and not Comerica?" question before calling in the cavalry, but he posted three different times saying basically, "confirmed request to play" "at the Big House".

For something like that, I didn't want to wait to hear it actually being confirmed before I reacted. Remember the uproar over SBC wanting to purchase the naming rights for the Michigan/Ohio football game, and how Michigan eventually called it off? To me, this story was like that. Except times a billion. 

I'm happy to hear that Michigan hasn't sold their souls, from the sound of it. There is still that tiny part of me that remembers they denied the Winter Classic rumors at first as well, but Comerica makes much more sense for a lot of reasons.

If nothing else, I got to remind everyone once again why the OHL is evil, and I like doing that. It was also really rewarding to get to see the passion in our fanbase. Thank you to everyone who immediately took up the cause. That was pretty cool to see.


Anonymous said...

As someone who angrily direct tweeted Brandon last night, I don't think it was uncalled for. He's chased the almighty dollar a few times at the expense of Michigan's tradition, so this sounded totally plausible. If we had waited for confirmation to get angry it might have been too late.

Kevin Dugal said...

It was stupid of Lale to keep saying "Big House" in his tweets when in reality he had no confirmation of the games venue. I questioned him immediately, and in my opinion the whole situation was handled somewhat poorly and neither reporter (Lale or James) seemed to care that they had leaked details of a rumor that had no foundation.

there is a discussion going on over at that you may find interesting, many of the posts in the thread are from Michigan natives, and offer interesting insight into this whole thing.

streaker said...

My only rub Tim is that the CHL will once again get the luxury of having the NHL network broadcast the games (probably)... as college hockey struggles to take the scraps ESPN sends them in the spring, and accepts the FSD+/CBS/NBC third rate, obscure cable channel deals they get.