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Concert Venues :: Joe Louis Arena


Now Known As
Date Opened Dec. 12, 1979
Venue Capacity 20,388
Venue URL
Venue Address 600 Civic Center Drive
Detroit, MI 48226

Venue Information

Joe Louis Arena, nicknamed The Joe, and JLA, is a hockey arena located at 600 Civic Center Drive in Detroit, Michigan (aka: Hockeytown). It is the home of the National Hockey League franchise, the Detroit Red Wings. Completed in 1979 at a cost of $57 million, Joe Louis Arena is named after boxer and former heavyweight champion, Joe Louis, who grew up in Detroit.

In the arena's first season it hosted the NHL All-Star Game, which was played before a then-NHL record crowd of 21,002 and was made memorable when Gordie Howe of the Hartford Whalers was introduced on the Wales Conference line-up and received a ten-minute standing ovation. The 51-year-old Howe had played 25 years in Detroit, was the NHL's all-time leading scorer, and probably the most popular Red Wing of all time.

Joe Louis Arena is owned by the city of Detroit and operated by Olympia Entertainment, an Ilitch Holdings, Inc.-owned company. JLA replaced Olympia Stadium. It sits adjacent to Cobo Hall on the bank of the Detroit River and is accessible through its own stations on the Detroit People Mover.

The Red Wings have been very successful since the move to JLA, winning three Stanley Cups (with two of them, 1997 and 2002, taking place with the Cup clinching victory at JLA). Budd Lynch is the arena's public address announcer.

The Detroit Pistons of the NBA used the arena for Game 5 of their 1984 playoff series against the New York Knicks when the Pontiac Silverdome was unavailable due to a scheduling conflict. In the game, Piston star Isiah Thomas scored 16 points in the final 1:34 of regulation to send the game into overtime before the Pistons lost. The Pistons were forced to return to Joe Louis Arena for 15 games during the 1984-85 season, after the roof of the Silverdome collapsed during a snowstorm.

Several plans for a replacement arena have been raised for years; presently, JLA is considered somewhat outdated due to its lack of luxury boxes and other revenue-generating amenities.

In addition, some proposals for the expansion of Cobo Hall have required JLA to be demolished. No firm plan for a replacement is in place.

A television screen on the scoreboard was installed and debuted November 22, 2006, when the Red Wings played the Vancouver Canucks. That same day, the arena's West Entrance was named "Gordie Howe Entrance" in honor of legendary Red Wing player Gordie Howe, and a bronze statue of his likeness was placed inside the entrance.

Venue Photos

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