Joe Louis Arena Closes Its Doors In Style (Video)
On April 9, the Detroit Red Wings concluded their 38-year run at iconic Joe Louis Arena, when defeating the New Jersey Devils 4-1. Ironically, the franchise’s 38th and final season at “The Joe” marks the first time since 1991 that the team did not advance to the postseason. 2016-2017 was without question a year of turning the page for this classic original six organization.
Lance Martinez from My Detroit Sports was on hand for the historic final game and provides the below original video of Henrik Zetterberg, Frans Nielsen, Chris Chelios and Dylan Larkin interacting with fans, while entering the facility via a special VIP red carpet.
Appropriately, the red carpet began on Steve Yzerman Drive, a street named after the greatest Red Wing player of the Joe Louis Arena era.
Lance also sent along the photo in the upper right, which displays an on ice tribute to the celebrated hockey venue.
Next season, the Wings will relocate 1.5 miles north to the brand new Little Caesars Arena. The $732 million stadium will also serve as the home of the Pistons, who are making the 31-mile trek from suburban Auburn Hills, to the state-of-the-art complex, found just outside of downtown Detroit.
Located on the same plot of land as the Cobo Center (Detroit’s downtown convention center), along the shores of the Detroit River, the 20,000-seat Joe Louis Arena opened for business in 1979, at a cost of $57 million.
Since opening its doors, the venue has played host to six Stanley Cup Finals, with the Wings claiming victory in four of those events. All told, Detroit won 16 division titles (during its Joe Louis Arena tenure), with the team dressing 18 hall of fame players and one likely future HOFer in Pavel Datsyuk.
In addition, former head coach Scotty Bowman, recently deceased owner Mike Ilitch and longtime club executive Jim Devellano are members of the hockey hall of fame, thanks in large measure to their time spent in the venerable Motor City building.
Though Joe Louis Arena is only 38-year-old, it somehow was able to create a tradition and mystique much more inline with a venue perhaps twice its age.
Goodbye to one of the great sporting venues of the United States. Red Wings fans and the entire NHL are forever grateful for your 38 years of service to the game of hockey.