Lions fans stay hopeful for next year after historic 2023 playoff ending

Print More

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 30: Jahmyr Gibbs #26 of the Detroit Lions celebrates his touchdown with fans in the third quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders at Ford Field on October 30, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

DETROIT, Mich.—Lions fans stay hopeful for next season after the historic 2023 playoff ending.

In the heart of Motor City, Ford Field stands as a symbol for new beginnings. The 12-5 Lions showed no mercy through the 2023 season, winning their first playoff game in over 30 years. The Lion’s season had highs such as winning two home playoff games. They also had lows, including their final loss of the season to the 49ers in the semifinals, but their fanbase stood proud through it all.

But lifelong Lions fans like Eric Miller, a season ticket holder, said that despite the season ending, he still “bleeds Honolulu Blue.” 

“I feel ecstatic and proud,” Miller said of the three-point loss in the championship game on Jan. 23.

Being a Lions fan hasn’t been easy. In 2008, the Lions had a losing  0-16 record, and by 2019, there were few signs of improvement with a record of 3-12. It wasn’t until head coach Dan Campbell was hired in 2021 that the Lions began to bring a new sense of hope to their fans. Growing up watching the Lions, Miller saw how the city of Detroit has come to life following the 2023 season. 

“The energy before and after home games, especially after winning home games, was amazing. Everyone’s cheering and strangers are high-fiving each other… all with big smiles on their faces,” Miller said.  

“Super Bowl for the Lions next season,” Miller’s wife Sherie Miller, added. 

Another lifelong fan, Farmington Hills resident Zach Latimer felt the same way. Latimer claimed he has been a fan since he was born. Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, he felt as if he was destined to be dressed in Honolulu Blue. 

“The Lions proved this past season that they have fully turned a corner and they are not a fluke with a very optimistic future ahead of them,” Latimer said. 

The Lions sold out every game last season, which is huge for all the businesses downtown that fans have not seen in a while. Season tickets are sold out already for the 2024 season, the first time this has happened in 21 years, according to a Lions news release.  

Tristin Gless, from Detroit, claimed she is proud to be a Lions fan, and she felt Dan Campbell has truly turned the program around.

“I feel that the stars started to align when Dan Campbell came to Detroit,” she said. 

While the Lions didn’t make it to Super Bowl LVIII this season, they have proved the expanse of their success has gone far beyond football. 

“Seeing the Lions struggle for years has… been heartbreaking but it takes a true fan to stick with them,” Gless said. “This past season has definitely lifted the spirits of Detroit… and I have to believe the city has benefited economically as well,” she added. 

“And Dan Campbell, who was laughed at, proved that with heart he could change an entire shattered culture,” Latimer said. 

Campbell came into the Lion’s program and only notched 3 wins in his first year. Since then, it has been an upward climb for the program, moving to 9 wins in 2022 and 12 wins in 2023.  

The Lions now have $61 million to spend on assets without the loss of any current players, which includes their star quarterback Jared Goff, according to, a database that tracks each NFL team’s assets. The 2024 NFL Draft will be held at award-winning Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit in April.

Comments are closed.