Detroit Lions fans can feel the change coming.
The Lions sold out of season tickets for the first time in their history at Ford Field, the team confirmed Thursday, less than a year after they were knocking on the door of the playoffs,
“This is an exciting moment for our franchise,” Lions president and CEO Rod Wood said in a statement. “To reach this milestone as we celebrate our 90th season of Detroit Lions football makes the moment even more special.”
While this is a first for the Lions at Ford Field, a team spokesperson could not confirm this was the first time in franchise history. Detroit won four NFL champions before the 1970 merger with the AFL. The Lions moved from the Pontiac Silverdome to Ford Field in 2002 with a seating capacity of around 65,000.
This is only the most recent example of the changing narrative around one of the most downtrodden teams in recent NFL history. After a 3-13-1 record in 2021 and a 1-6 record to start the 2022 season, the Lions won eight of their final 11 games season to finish 9-8 and just barely miss the playoffs.
Things look even brighter for Detroit heading into the 2023 season: The Lions are the betting favorite to win the NFC North (+130, per BetMGM) and have the fourth-best odds to win the NFC (+850). Detroit also has the shortest odds of any team in their division to make the playoffs at -175. That’s quiet the turnaround for a team with the second-worst winning percentage since 2002 and only three playoff berths during that span.
The only thing left to do is prove it on the field.