The Joe Louis Arena was the home to the Detroit Red Wings in some of its most pivotal and historical seasons as a franchise, from 1979 to 2017.
Four Stanley Cup Championships and 25 consecutive playoff runs were some of the accolades that were achieved inside this iconic building.
It was the second oldest National Hockey League venue after Madison Square Garden, and closed its doors just two years ago. Now, it sits as a fossil of Detroit sports, with fans walking up the stairs to take pictures of the old superstructure.
The paint from the walls and the staircase were also visibly cracking, further showing the weakened state of Hockeytown’s hub.
However, the Joe won’t be shown in that condition for much longer.
Plans for demolition were approved last year. Cleanup crews have begun the process, disassembling the interior to prepare for the arena’s exterior. The external demolition will not take place until around late summertime, and will hopefully be completely finished by the end of the year.
The overall cost of the whole project is around ten million dollars, and the five-acre site is currently owned by the City of Detroit.
Alex Mayer, MSU student and passionate Red Wings fan, was disappointed about the news.
“Yeah it made me sad. I haven’t been to another sporting arena, or field, or whatever like that,” Mayer said. “Walking in there, it was just a vibe.”
On the contrary, fans like Michael Reed, are fine with moving on. He was in front of the staircase taking pictures and soaking in his final moments looking at the arena.
“I think it’s time to move on. Yeah, they’ve got a nice new stadium and you know for the benefit of Detroit they’re moving ahead,” Reed said. “Getting new things in here, bringing in new businesses, I think it’s a good thing.”
There have been no public announcements for what would replace Joe Louis Arena.