Red Wings share elaborate plans for new downtown arena

Red Wings share elaborate plans for new downtown arena
July 21, 2014, 1:30 pm
Share This Post

The Detroit Red Wings have released plans for their new downtown arena set to open in summer 2017. Construction on the new building and the surrounding entertainment district is expected to cost $650M according to the Detroit Free Press. Groundbreaking is scheduled for this fall.

The Red Wings have played at the Joe Louis Arena since 1979, with Detroit hosting Stanley Cup Finals games in 1995, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008 and 2009. ‘The Joe,’ as it is affectionately known in the hockey world, is the fourth oldest building in the NHL, behind only New York’s Madison Square Garden (1968), New York’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (1972) and Edmonton’s Rexall Place (1974).

The Islanders are moving the Brooklyn’s Barclay Center for the start of the 2015-16 season, while the Oilers are expected to move into their new arena- Rogers Place- for the start of the 2016-17 campaign. The Red Wings hope to follow suit for the start of the 2017-18 season.

Detroit’s new arena is expected to do more than simply house a professional hockey team and host concerts. The new facility will be the focal point of ‘District Detroit,’ a new sports and entertainment destination that will “transform dozens of underutilized blocks between downtown and midtown Detroit into a world-class Sports and Entertainment District.”

According to a press release distributed by the Red Wings, the project is expected to generate $1.8 billion in local revenue and create 8,300 construction jobs and 1,100 permanent jobs.

“We’ve done business in Detroit for nearly 50 years, and this is our most significant and ambitious project here yet,” said Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc.

“Our great city is home to some of the world’s most legendary people, teams and venues in sports and entertainment. Detroit deserves no less than the best – a world-class sports and entertainment district we can all be proud of. And that’s exactly what we will build.”

Barring any changes to the NHL’s current scheduling matrix, the Capitals will play four more games at the Joe Louis Arena through 2016-17. The Capitals are 14-14-6-2 all-time at the Joe Louis Arena and made their first ever appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals at Joe Louis Arena on June 9, 1998.

[RELATED: Alex Ovechkin wins Rocket Richard trophy]