As of 11:59 PM last night, the NHL entered into another lockout, just seven years after their last one. It hasn’t even been a day yet, but things are already not looking promising for a 2012 season.
The last time this happened with Gary Bettman’s league in 2005, the Pistons were fresh off an NBA championship and sported the league’s best attendance numbers: 905,116 total fans, good for an average full-capacity home game of 22,076. In fact, the team would go on to lead the league in attendance for four of the next five seasons.
Needless to say, Detroit fans looking for a team to watch during the winter months had one in the Pistons that season. This year, however, will the Pistons receive an attendance boost with the Red Wings not playing?
After seeing their attendance plummet to 28th in the league last season, it would seem that the latest NHL lockout could only help the team. With a young, exciting core of players led by Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight, the Pistons have a marketable team once again. They will struggle at times, as every inexperienced team does, but fans will come to games and know that the team will compete regardless of opponent, much like the blue-collar teams of the mid-2000′s.
The team has already sold more season ticket packages this season than 2011, understandably, but as the NHL loses more and more games to the lockout, the Pistons could be the beneficiaries of Detroit fans looking for some sports. For a team on the rise, that could be just what the franchise needs to continue to rebound.
What do you think? Will Detroit turn to the Pistons if the Red Wings don’t play a game this season?