David e-mails to take exception with my post from last week on the demise of Hockeytown:
A couple of points. Large blocks of tickets at all professional sports events, including Wild games, are bought by businesses. Business is terrible in Detroit, so ticket sales are down. Unemployment is at least 10% and climbing fast, so individuals can't afford tickets. So "Hockeytown" started in the marketing dept. "State of Hockey" didn't? Red Wing fans follow every game of the season and not just the playoff games. Don't be so smug. I'd hate to see 10% unemployment here in MN but if it happened, I'd bet there'd be a few empty seats at Xcel.
In theory, that sounds like a good explanation and the state of Detroit's economy was cited in the WSJ story. However, it doesn't jive with the reality that the Detroit Pistons Topped the NBA in Attendance:
AUBURN HILLS, Mich.--In 41 home games this season, the Detroit Pistons were absolutely perfect. Sure, their record on the court was 34-7, but in the stands the Pistons were 41-0.
For the fifth time in six seasons, the Detroit Pistons are the attendance champs in the NBA. With 41 straight sell-outs and an average of 22,076 per game, the Pistons hosted 905,116 fans during the 2007-08 regular season.
"Our sell-out streak and leading the league in attendance are two things that we take a great deal of pride in," said Pistons CEO Tom Wilson. "They are an indication of the quality of the fan experience we provide, the excellence of our team, and, most importantly, they demonstrate the strong commitment and fierce loyalty of Detroit Pistons fans."
While economic conditions in Detroit are less than ideal, it's pretty clear that the fans and corporations are still willing to pay the price to support the Pistons. Therefore, it would be perfectly legitimate for the city to claim the title "Hoopstown." Hockeytown however is no longer an appropriate moniker.