Some hockey fans vying for a seat at the Alumni Showdown Game between retired Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs as part of this year’s Winter Classic may be out of luck.
Over the New Year’s Eve weekend, there will be two alumni games during Winter Fest in the lead up to the classic, featuring today’s Leafs and Wings at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.
According to the vice president of marketing for the host Red Wings, most of the alumni tickets are already spoken for.
“We really haven’t gone public with the alumni tickets yet. We’re not sure if we will, based upon the demand that we have so far from our season ticket holders and all the Toronto season ticket holders,” Rob Mattina told CBC News.
NHL officials announced in April that the 2014 edition of the league’s Winter Classic would be held in Ann Arbor. Alumni games and other festivities will be held at Comerica Park and downtown Detroit.
The original game was cancelled in 2013 after the NHL locked out its players.
Mo Regnier, president of Great Adventure Tours, in Lakeshore, Ont., near Windsor, said he has sold 70 per cent of his ticket and hotel packages to Winter Fest.
However, this year’s sales haven’t matched what he sold for the cancelled 2013 event. He returned his 2013 complement of tickets for a refund and purchased a new, smaller lot this year.
He has bad news for fans who want tickets to the alumni games, though.
“Unless you’re a broker and have the tickets, you will not be getting [them],” Regnier said.
Mattina said 85,000 seats to the alumni games have already been sold and many more remain on hold.
“We’re still going through our database and connecting with our season ticket holders and Toronto has done the same thing,” he said. “We’re going to wait a couple more weeks and at that point we’ll see where we are, and then we’ll see if we need to have a public sale.”