DETROIT -- There’s a buzz around Detroit. Fans are itching to see some football.
For the first time in Ford Field history, the Detroit Lions have sold all their season tickets for the upcoming season, the team announced Thursday.
Coming off their first winning season since 2017, the Lions are starting the year as the favorites to win the NFC North (+120), according to Caesars Sportsbook. The Lions haven’t won their division since 1993 -- back when it was NFC Central -- but there’s optimism surrounding this team after it closed the year winning eight of its final 10 games.
“It’s going to be a special year, I think. I think the fans believe it, the players believe it,” Lions edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson told ESPN following Thursday’s practice. “It’s such a blessing to have such a supportive city. They can feel the hype, and I feel like we’re coming.”
Former Lions Pro Bowl offensive tackle Lomas Brown was a member of the last Detroit team to win a playoff game (on Jan. 5, 1992) and can’t remember this much hype around the team in a long time.
“It’s real different. In 1991, we were one game away from the Super Bowl and when we came back in the 1992 season, I don’t think it was the hype that it is around this team right now,” Brown said. “So, it’s awesome to see. And I know the fans are expecting a lot and I know these players and the organization are expecting a lot out of this team, too.”
The Lions are scheduled for four prime-time games in 2023, including the Thursday night kickoff game against the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 7.
Detroit is also commemorating its 90th season in franchise history with a logo patch on its jerseys, and will have other season-long celebrations inside the stadium.
Lions receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown is thankful for the support but said he doesn’t want that hype to overshadow the team's goal of winning a Super Bowl.
“It’s crazy from [my] rookie year to now, the hype is definitely there," St. Brown said. "For the season tickets to be sold out for the first time that says a lot about what we’re building here, what we’re doing. But for us as a team, I feel like we’ve got all this hype -- season tickets, favored to win this, that and the other -- but for us, we’ve still got to go out there and put the work in.
“I think that’s a message that us as players want to let everyone know is that nothing’s going to be handed to us. It’s still the NFL. There’s a bunch of good teams, so we’ve got to keep putting that work in.”