Oct 2, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Fans move a Red Wings flag around the arena before the game against the Buffalo Sabres at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Red Wings Reveal New Arena Plans

The Detroit Red Wings released today a press statement as well as renderings of what their new arena.   Before we get to “Is thirty-eight years a sufficient lifespan for an arena?” the projected amount of time Joe Louis Arena would have been in use when the new arena opens in 2017, or “How will this affect the team on the ice?” let’s take a moment and drool at some pictures of the Red Wings new arena in downtown Detroit.

The Red Wings logo on the top of the arena is not a permanent fixture.  The roof has a programmable light design on the roof so that it can be adjusted based on what event is going on inside. And now another….

The arena and bowl design is being referred to as a “deconstructed” stadium.  Essentially instead of all of the team offices, concessions, ticketing and other arena amenities being a part of the structure as it is in a tradition arena they will be separated from the seating bowl by a glass covered walkway that will be built in the style of a European street.

One more for good measure.

It reminds me strongly of how parts of the Arena District in Columbus looks as well as a slight resemblance to Temple Street in Dublin Ireland.  The premise is that it is a walking street with businesses, restaurants, and other amenities.

This feels a lot like the Dallas Cowboys building AT&T Stadium.  This is one of the premier franchises in the NHL trying to create a renaissance for themselves as one of the more popular teams and using a new arena as part of revitalizing their image.  Not that the Red Wings have a bad image per se but they are for certain in a rut.  Even with some of the best players in the league on the roster they come across as a team that is now stuck in the “Too good to get a top pick but not good enough to win the cup” trap.

That being said once this arena is built it is all but guaranteed that the Detroit Red Wings will host an All-Star Game and the NHL Draft within a few years, maybe even in it’s first year.  There is no doubt in my mind that it will be an awesome venue for watching a hockey game and a great place for having a beer afterwards.

Hopefully for the fans of the NHL this stadium being built will not have the same effect as the rash of stadiums being built throughout the NFL started.  If so every year one fan base or another will have to go through the agony of a team owner dropping veiled hints at moving the team without however many million dollars from public coffers.  If I were a Red Wings fan I would want the team to sign at least a fifty year lease with the amount of money involved.

Let’s just hope that this $650 million dollar facelift for downtown Detroit does as much good for the local economy as the Ilitch family is leading everyone to believe because a $260 million dollar public investment from a bankrupt city needs to show tangible results.

Tags: Detroit Detroit Red Wings Joe Louis Arena

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