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T he U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame is looking for a new home and it makes complete sense for Hockeytown to be on the list of prospective cities.

With Detroit's heritage and affection for all things hockey well documented, the Hall of Fame would be a nice addition to the city's proud sports culture.

The USHHF closed its doors last Friday for a lack of visitors and money. It cost about $11,000 a month to keep the facility open in Eveleth, Minn. The Hall had been drawing about 10,000 visitors annually, about a third of the traffic needed.

Scott Auld is a representative for the Hall of Fame. He represents Minnesota-based That Idea! Creative Group, a marketing company which handles communications, event planning, fund-raising and branding for the hockey shrine.

"The board's position is to research what's going to be the best place for the Hall," Auld said. "Where that is, whether it's in Detroit or Des Moines, that's what everybody is trying to figure out.

"To be honest, I don't know how much anybody has ever looked into it. Until you get to this point, there wasn't an opportunity."

Auld is no stranger to Detroit or its hockey heritage. He's visited Hockeytown twice since last fall, most recently in January, to promote Hall of Fame initiatives and fund-raisers. He acknowledged that increasing traffic for the Hall is a must.

"Certainly, the economics provide a reality," he said. "A lot of traffic (is needed), and location has a big bearing on that."

Eveleth is a hockey hotbed about 200 miles north of the Twin Cities, but it's a small community and doesn't generate the crowds that could be expected in metropolitan areas such as Detroit or Boston, two centers of professional hockey in the United States.

Squaw Valley, Calif., and Lake Placid N.Y., historic places in American hockey, likely wouldn't offer enough traffic to keep the Hall financially viable.

For years, talk of relocation has centered on the Twin Cities, with the Mall of America mentioned. The massive mall certainly would enhance visibility and crowds.

"Traffic, intangibles, hockey interest -- those things would certainly have a bearing -- and maybe some historical value," Auld said.

Detroit scores high in all those areas.

The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame opened in 1973 and had 60,000-square feet of exhibition space in Eveleth.

"The board is going to hear feedback," Auld said. "At some point we'll put out a request for bids and hear proposals. The plan is to take a fairly significant amount of time and analyze what's best for the hockey fan and what makes most sense economically."

Reed Larson, a former Red Wings defenseman, is on the Hall's executive committee. Larson is a Minnesota native with strong ties to Detroit and Boston, cities he played in during his NHL career.

The closing of the Hall of Fame has been positive in one sense. People have noticed its demise. It might be a case of not knowing what you have until it's gone.

"We've had a lot of feedback from areas we never would have thought of," Auld said.

"What it's going to be and how it's going to look, that's going to take some time to process. We're starting with a clean slate."

Auld said wherever the Hall of Fame lands, its board and his company plan to be active in hockey centers like Detroit and Boston, promoting golf events and games.

"Our goal is to be wherever hockey is," he said.

Sounds to us like advantage Detroit.
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it sounds like this could possibly happen, which would put another very unique attraction in michigan! b/c of the peoples undying love of the game and the greatness that hockey has brought to detroit and the fans.. I mean who better.. do you know a team more deserving?

I SHOULD SAY NOT! it would be a wonderful attraction dont you think?:dunno:

I mean with as many hockey fanatics as there are up in michigan i know that it would be a great attraction here! and it would look good downtown.. since its all built up. it looks really nice down there!!

if we could get that lazy mayor to work on building it up.. the city would be beautiful and a great attraction! Im sure detroit has a good chance.. well anyway, the rest of you, your thoughts? im sure im not the only person that has something to think!
 
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