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The Red Wings’ first outdoor game wasn’t in a big stadium. It was at a prison.

The Marquette Prison Pirates clashed with the Red Wings in 1954. By the end of the first period, the Wings were up 18-0.
The Marquette Prison Pirates clashed with the Red Wings in 1954. By the end of the first period, the Wings were up 18-0.

Stateside's conversation with Mark Harvey of the Michigan History Center and Bill Roose, a former writer for the Detroit Free Press and former Red Wings publicist.

Big outdoor stadiums hosting hockey is a trend that’s been on the rise over the past decade. The 2014 NHL Winter Classic, held in Michigan Stadium, drew more than 100,000 fans to watch the Red Wings play the Toronto Maple Leafs, the largest crowd ever to watch a professional hockey game.

But the Wings' very first outdoor game wasn’t at a stadium or even in a big city. It took place in 1954, at the self-proclaimed “Alcatraz of the North.” The opponent: the Marquette Prison Pirates.

Stateside spoke with Mark Harvey of the Michigan History Center and Bill Roose, a former writer for The Detroit Free Press and former Red Wings publicist, to hear the full story of the Red Wings' first outdoor game.

This segment is produced in partnership with the Michigan History Center.

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