The Detroit Lions held a season ticketholder meet and greet event on Tuesday afternoon at their headquarters and training facility in Allen Park.
More than 1,100 season-ticket holders came out to practice for a glimpse of the 2012 team as the Lions moved a step closer to the end of their offseason program.
“It shows how excited they are about the team, how proud they are of the team, and how interested they are. OTAs are sort of a hard time. You don’t want to get those competitive juices going too far for the players because we’re still in a learning mode, we’re still in a teaching mode. It’s good to have the fans out here to add some spark to practice,” said Coach Schwartz.
The loyal Lions fans brought a lot of enthusiasm, but one man, Willie Stone, tops the charts as a 62-year ticket holder.
"I came back after the service in 1947 and the Detroit Lions were playing in a 10,000 seat stadium at UD stadium. The seats were just ten dollars a seat and a whole season was just eight games. I had at one time 18 seats and now I’m down to 12."
The Lions have come a long way since then and WIllie isn't the only one who feels the energy coming off of this team.
Brian Carey, a two-year ticket holder from Belleville commented, “I’ve been a life-long Detroit Lions fan. I’m very pleased to see the attitude has changed as far as the winning ways and the fact that the enthusiasm is back in Detroit. To have a chance to come out and hang out with the other fans, see the team practice and shake their hands and wish them well for the upcoming season is really a highlight.”
As exciting as the event is for the fans, it is really something special for the players. Cornerback rookie
The players enjoy having the fans come out and show their support. It means a lot to them to be able to engage with the fans that are there at every game cheering them on.
Our longest season-ticket holder just had one request from his favorite team, "I’m going to be 90 years old in a year-and-a-half, I’m just looking to see a Super Bowl Championship.”