Joe Louis Arena has been home to the Detroit Red Wings since 1979. The first game in the historic building was played vs. the St. Louis Blues. But, all good things must come to an end. The Red Wings are set to get a new arena, and that will mean the end of the Joe.
It has been reported that once the Red Wings leave the ice for the final time the Joe will be demolished. It’s not uncommon for old arenas to be turned to ruble, but it’s hard to say good-bye to history. The Red Wings have won the Stanley Cup four times while calling the Joe home (1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008).
Although the City of Detroit owns Joe Louis, it would be prohibited from holding any ticketed events at the arena in the time between the team’s departure and the arena’s demolition, under the proposal that is before the City Council. [Pro Hockey Talk, Detroit Free Press]
Detroit’s new home will be built in the entertainment district, and will hold around 18,000 seats. It has been reported that the new arena’s funding has a breakdown of $285 million of the $650 million cost will be public, with $365.5 million in private funding. Some say how a city can fund a hockey team’s arena when the city itself is having financial troubles. It’s simple you need to spend money to make money. But, that’s enough about the new let’s focus on the Joe.
Facts about Joe Louis Arena (Wikipedia)
- Broke Ground May 16,1977
- It cost $57 Million to build. That about $185 Million today.
- It can hold 20,066 hockey fans
- It replaced Olympia Arena, where the Red Wings had played since 1927
The Joe will go down as one of the best arena with the most history, and while there really is no reason to keep it standing I hope that Red Wing fans take the time to say good-bye.