Single digits, woohoo! We take another link out of our virtual paper chain with just 9 days remaining until the first practice of training camp! 9 days until the start of what will be season number 9 for the Lions at Ford Field.
The Lions opened regular season play at Ford Field with a 37-31 loss to the Green Bay Packers on September 22, 2002. The Lions would go on to post three home wins over the season but an 0-8 effort on the road signaled the end of the Marty Morhinweg era, despite his efforts to “raise the bar”.
Ford Field’s opening hasn’t brought the Lions success on the field but the stadium has been important to the city of Detroit. The state-of-the-art facility has brought big time events, and the dollars that follow, to an area that sorely needs it. Super Bowl XL, WrestleMania 23, 2008 NCAA Basketball Regional semi-finals and finals, the 2009 NCAA Final Four, and the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four have each brought crowds of people downtown and opportunity for the city to showcase itself.
Detroit also benefits from a number of annual special events that take place at Ford Field. The MHSAA crowns eight state champions in football each Thanksgiving weekend, 40 high school marching bands vie for the right to be named an MCBA state champion in early November. College football takes center stage in December with the MAC Championship and the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl.
Hopefully, Ford Field provides the kind of home field advantage that can feed a team. That will largely depend on the type of team that the Lions field as crowds and enthusiasm have dwindled ahead of year 9 in the facility.