How popular are the Detroit Red Wings around the world?
January 4th, 2022, YouGov

How popular are the Detroit Red Wings around the world?

The Detroit Red Wings is one of the most popular National Hockey League franchises in the United States. International YouGov data shows just how popular the storied Original Six team is around the world.

When looking at the proportion of NHL fans who support the team, the Red Wings see substantial fandom in the Czech Republic, with 15% of league fans indicating support for the Motor City franchise.

Detroit has laid claim to some Czech-born hockey greats like Dominik Hašek, Jiri Hudler, and Jiri Fischer. A new class of Czech players on the roster are likely keeping fans interested, including Jakub Vrana, Filip Zadina, and Filip Hronek.

Albeit with substantially smaller hockey fan bases, the Wings enjoy support from 12% of league fans in South Africa, 11% in Vietnam and 10% in Poland and Turkey.


Throughout the modern era of the NHL, much has been written about NHL international expansion, primarily into European markets, though there is no indication that it will happen anytime soon. But perhaps the league may continue to pursue overseas games or expanded media partnerships.

In the case of the Red Wings, YouGov data shows the estimated fan base and the size of market.

In Germany, there is an estimated 611,000 Red Wing fans, with another 7 million NHL fans who don’t have allegiance to any team, making it a large untapped market for teams to grow their international fans base. The Red Wings are the third most popular NHL team in Germany (7%), after the Edmonton Oilers (11%) and Chicago Blackhawks (8%).


Turning to the Czech Republic, the Red Wings command a larger chunk of a smaller market. There are an estimated 456,000 Detroit fans in the Czech Republic, with another 2 million without a favorite team. Detroit (15%) is the fifth most popular NHL among NHL fans, behind the Boston Bruins (34%), Pittsburgh Penguins (22%), Philadelphia Flyers (17%), and New York Rangers (17%).

In Sweden, the Red Wings enjoy a fan base that’s 256,000 strong with another 1 million who don’t have a preferred team. They’re the third most popular team, enjoying 9% of NHL fans in Sweden, behind the New York Rangers (21%) and Toronto Maple Leafs (13%).

In Finland – a small market in general, albeit one with a strong affinity for the sport – 47,000 NHL fans cheer for the Red Wings, with an untapped fan base of 871,000. The Red Wings are nowhere near being a favorite in Finland, with just 4% support. The Carolina Hurricanes (18%), Florida Panthers (16%), and Colorado Avalanche (14%) wield the largest Finnish fan bases.

Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Data is based on sample sizes between 5,578 and 18,601 NHL fans. Profiles data is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.