DETROIT -- For Detroit Red Wings fans who already show their support with stickers and flags on their cars, there is now something new.
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced Tuesday that new fundraising license plates are now available for the Red Wings, Tigers, Pistons and Lions.
"We're very excited to partner with the Michigan Secretary of State office to produce State of Michigan fundraising license plates for the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers," said Chris Granger, Group President, Sports & Entertainment, Ilitch Holdings, Inc. "It's a great cause with proceeds benefiting the Detroit Red Wings Foundation and the Detroit Tigers Foundation. We look forward to our fans proudly displaying the Winged Wheel and the Old English D across metro Detroit and the great state of Michigan."
All the net proceeds from the sale of Red Wings license plates will benefit the Detroit Red Wings Foundation, which supports communities and programs across the state of Michigan, including the Upper Peninsula. Proceeds from the other plates go to the Detroit Tigers Foundation, Detroit Pistons Foundation and Detroit Lions Charities.
"Today marks an exciting opportunity for the Detroit Red Wings Foundation," said Kevin Brown, Director of Community Relations and Detroit Red Wings Foundation. "The new Red Wings fundraising license plate allows fans across the great state of Michigan to support the growth of hockey while showing their team pride year-round."
Benson said she intends to get one of the fundraising plates for her car.
"As we celebrate our teams today, as we proudly put our license plates on our vehicles, as we drive around Michigan, we can also be proud that the work we're doing together is improving Michigan for all of our residents," Benson said.
Red Wings legend Chris Osgood joined Tigers Hall of Famer Al Kaline, Pistons great Earl Cureton and Lions star Herman Moore at the official announcement at Little Caesars Arena Tuesday.
"Detroit's a great sports town, all four teams are represented," Osgood said. "Why wouldn't you want to go out and put your team on there? I would. For sure, my son will when he's able to drive years from now. It's a cool idea. When I came here, I thought they already had them, to be honest. I was surprised we didn't. I think you're going to see a ton of license plates out there with the emblems on them. I think the Red Wings far and away are going to win this. I think there are going to be the most Red Wings logos."
Young Max Osgood is just eight years old so he will have to wait to get his own Red Wings license plate.
Also in attendance at the news conference were PAWS, the Tigers mascot, Hooper, the Pistons mascot, and Roary, the Lions mascot.
This is not something that happened overnight as the original legislation creating the sports team license plates started about 13 years ago.
Red Wings and Tigers owners Mike and Marian Ilitch had long wanted to offer the license plates to their fans but the state of Michigan was originally trying to limit the number of fundraising license plates available.
Thanks to help from state senator Jim Stamas (R-Midland), who agreed to sponsor the legislation, their dreams were finally realized.
"The Ilitch family does so much for this community and they have for so long, so to have this opportunity, where fans can represent the Olde English D or the Winged Wheel, represent their favorite team, represent Detroit, while at the same time giving back to great community causes, that's what the Ilitches do and we're excited to be a part of this," Granger said.
The plates will cost $35, $25 of which will go to each team's charitable foundation and $10 for Secretary of State administrative costs.
Each year, it will cost $10 to renew the plate and that money will also go to the foundations.
"We're extremely thankful for the efforts of Senator Jim Stamas and the other bill sponsors who helped pave the way for this new fundraising mechanism," Brown said. "Charitable contributions generated from this program will open doors for countless individuals throughout Michigan to succeed on and off the ice."
The best part is that fans do not have to wait until their registration comes due to get their new plate as they can replace their old plates anytime.
The fundraising license plates are available immediately, either online at www.ExpressSOS.com or at a Secretary of State branch anywhere in the state of Michigan.
For more information, visit DetroitRedWings.com/licenseplate.