Detroit: Ramping Up

Detroit has jumped back into the mix for the Frozen Four. It’s been awhile; an NCAA ice hockey champion hasn’t been crowned in Detroit since 1990, but that doesn’t mean that Detroit isn’t ready and able.

The city has taken a bad rap in the recent years, but could it be making a comeback? Comerica Park is the new home of the Tigers, Ford Field the new home of the Lions and General Motors is investing a ton of money in the city itself. The city could be on the verge of a comeback and a Frozen Four could cap the comeback.

“The Ryder Cup is coming, the Super Bowl is coming, so Detroit is revitalizing itself,” said CCHA Commissioner Tom Anastos. “One of the key ingredients is the ability to attract an audience. Well, this market is very accessible to a large part of the college hockey market and in itself has a large college hockey market that supports itself.”

That college hockey market continues to reinforce itself year in and year out as Anastos points out.

“We’ve had over one million college hockey fans see hockey at the Joe, we had over 19,000 for our CCHA Championship Game this past season, we had 75,000 people at the outdoor game at Michigan State,” he said. “Michigan, as a state, has more amateur hockey players than any other state in the country. These elements can certainly be integrated into making this a great Frozen Four.”

And then build into the fact that by 2007 the city of Detroit could be totally different than it was in 1990.

“With a Frozen Four, we’ll be able to do things at a higher level,” said Anastos. “Between the entertainment level, the history of the town, Motown, the automotive companies and downtown is really starting to happen here. Downtown is taking a step forward, there’s a lot of stuff happening that five years ago wasn’t and in 2007 who knows.

“If the biggest party in the world, the Super Bowl, can come to Detroit, we can certainly make it happen for a Frozen Four.”

Perhaps in 2007 and 2008 the biggest party the NCAA has to offer will come to Hockeytown.