Well, folks, it looks like The Joe’s days are officially numbered. Per SportsBusinessDaily, the Wings have hired an architect to start plans on the Wings new home:
The Detroit Red Wings have selected an architect to design a new NHL arena in downtown Detroit, a sign the team is moving ahead with the project.
HKS, co-designer of American Airlines Center, will team with Chan Krieger NBBJ, a Boston architect specializing in urban developments, according to three industry sources. . . .
Karen Cullen, a corporate spokeswoman for the Red Wings, said there was nothing new to report, adding “our organization has been on record saying we’d like to have a new arena in downtown Detroit.”
Pretty interesting stuff. More facts after the break:
I think more interesting is the fact that the new arena will likely be smaller:
The Red Wings intend to develop a new 18,000-seat facility to replace outdated Joe Louis Arena, sources said.
Now, with the current state of the economy, I understand why they want to slightly reduce the size of the arena from the monstrous 20,000 that is the Joe, but down to 18,000 seems a bit low. Detroit has had something like 71 consecutive sellouts even with the economy the way it is and I worry that the cheap seats available to students, etc. might go away with this change. I personally think around 19,000 makes a little more sense.
Anyways, here’s another interesting tidbit:
The responsibility of architect Alex Krieger, founding principal of Chan Krieger NBBJ and a Harvard professor of urban design, is to develop an entertainment district tied to a new arena in Detroit, similar to Nationwide Arena in Columbus and Staples Center in Los Angeles, sources said.
I live in Columbus right now and if they do anything in Detroit like they did here in the Arena District, that’s a great thing for the city. The Arena District in Columbus almost single handedly turned around the downtown area from a former, ominous prison, to a hip, place where young people go to hangout. I think with the multitude of teams in downtown Detroit, this can be only expanded on. Great thing.
Still, I’m sad to see the Joe unofficially go. The Joe is dead! Long live the Joe!
As a Penguins fan, I was sad to see the old building go here also. I too was afraid that the college rush (as it's called here) and the ability to get into the games for cheap for college students was going away as well. Fortunately, the owners did decide to keep that program with the new arena, and I think that the Red Wings organization will do the same...otherwise, it alienates a whole group of fans who care about the game, and not just that they have seats (or a suite) at the new arena...because it's trendy.
Such a shame im not going to have chance to go to jo being stuck in england not easy to jump over :-(
"Now, with the current state of the economy, I understand why they want to slightly reduce the size of the arena from the monstrous 20,000 that is the Joe, but down to 18,000 seems a bit low. Detroit has had something like 71 consecutive sellouts even with the economy the way it is and I worry that the cheap seats available to students, etc. might go away with this change. I personally think around 19,000 makes a little more sense."
Do we know if that 18,000 includes suites? I know one of the main reasons for getting into a new arena is to take advantage of mid level suites that's common in newer arenas (see the Palace, not that's new by any stretch of the imagination). I can't imagine another 1,000-2,000 seats, adding much cost to the design or structure, so I think there has to be a reason why they haven't gone bigger.
@thebiglachovsky yeah I heard that's why its smaller because of the mid level suites, but that sucks for all students now. Clearly we can't afford suites and now getting cheap tickets to games is going to be a lot harder. I'm all for a new arena but I hope they find a way to keep it somewhat cheap for everyone who doesn't have a ton of money. I'll also totally miss going to the joe. I grew up watching hockey there
@erinnoelle Tickets will probably be more expensive, but I think that has a lot more to do with having to pay off a brand new arena, than it will a 10% decrease in general seating. I think you could argue that the additional revenue that is brought in from the mid level suites, could offset some of that cost. I just hope that ticket prices don't completely sky rocket. I've made it my goal to see the Red Wings play in every arena in the NHL, and some preliminary pricing has made me aware just how lucky we are when it comes to ticket pricing. I do think that the local economy in this area will help keep ticket prices down, as pricing will always be at what the market will bear.
@thebiglachovsky fact of the day: the palace of Auburn Hills was actually the first arena to have suites at mid level instead of up top.
i just hope they don't end up with a corporate name, but considering the whole "presented by amway" thing, i have a feeling we're looking at Arby's Arena. then again, if they go with a michigan company, i'd get over it.
@Twig I'd like to see them honor a local legend. Maybe the "Kwame Kilpatrick Arena" or something like that lol.
@Twig For the love of god, I hope this is the case. Even a Michigan company (which it better be) would be sad. God, if they brought back Olympia in some form, that'd be the classiest move ever.
@Lauren H @moorecha @Twig I actually wouldn't mind that too much, but it doesn't make financial sense, as the reason for charging for naming rights is to get additional outside funding. Having LC pay for the name would mean the Illitch's would be missing out on millions of dollars in outside revenue. At that point, they're better off calling it Olympia (or Olympia Entertainment) Arena. With the current state of the economy in Detroit, they can't afford not to get outside funding.
Normally I would think Dan Gilbert would step in and buy the rights, but there is already a Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
I'm torn about a new arena. I love the Joe and I love the familiarity of all the experience we have with it but at the same time, I hate being afraid of change. This team and fan base deserves a state of the art place to play and watch hockey. Plus, the whole urban development thing is awesome. But it's kind of sad that Mike Illitch is essentially Detroit's sugar daddy. Where would this town be without him?
@marti783 Honestly, I do love the Joe, but going to Comerica and Ford Field really makes it hit home how outdated the Joe looks. That and the location is an island. Being within easy walking distance of Downtown, as well as Comerica, Ford Field, The Fox, and Midtown will be great.
Glad I got to go there before it ceased to be. Any idea what will happen to the Joe post-Wings? Hopefully not another Tiger Stadium fiasco, those iron gates are heartbreaking.
@Reddy there was a plan to expand COBO into where the Joe stands now. COBO is too small for many conventions and even the North American Auto Show is threatening to leave Detroit if a larger venue is not found.