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Planned: $650-million Red Wings arena

Jun 19, 2013, 3:10 PM EDT

Joe Louis Arena Getty Images

Though much work remains, a new home for the Detroit Red Wings is one step closer to becoming reality.

From the Associated Press:

The Detroit Red Wings and city officials have announced a $650 million plan for a new arena for the NHL team in the city’s downtown entertainment and sports district.

The project was announced Wednesday at a meeting of economic development officials to approve the deal. The 18,000-seat arena would be at Interstate 75 and Woodward Avenue, near the Detroit Tigers’ Comerica Park and the Detroit Lions’ Ford Field.

A new downtown home for the Wings has been the subject of speculation for years. The team’s present home, Joe Louis Arena, opened in 1979. Only three NHL rinks are older than the Joe — MSG, which just underwent a massive renovation; Nassau Coliseum, which will be abandoned by the Islanders shortly; and Rexall Place, which will be abandoned by the Oilers shortly.

  1. killerpgh - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    That’s a big price tag for a city struggling like Detroit. I wonder how much the city is kicking in. Last I read the Red Wings/Illitch owed the City of Detroit $70 million from a split it hasn’t paid since 1980.

    • blackfoot11 - Jun 20, 2013 at 9:38 AM

      The City of Detroit has no financial obligation. The State Ecomonic Development Corp, a quasi-govt organization will float the bond to pay for the area. The funding split is 56% private funds and 44% public economic development funds (non-general fund roll). The arena will be owned by the Downtown Detroit Economic Development Corp and a private company will operate and maintain it.

  2. timmons94 - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    I know the wings are set on playing downtown. But the palace is paid off and still best arena in country. U think a bankrupt Detroit has any money to kick in ??? Move to the palace of auburn hills

    • ryanprzy - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:52 PM

      Nah, pass on that. Keep the Wings in Detroit, and while we’re at it, let’s bring the Pistons home too.

      Nothing against the Palace – great venue and all, but our Detroit teams don’t belong in Auburn Hills.

      • redwings1977 - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:58 PM

        Yes, because having the Wings leave Detroit is sure to improve the city’s financial situation. And just because the building is paid off doesn’t mean the Wings wouldn’t have to pay to play there. Build an awesome new arena and people will come. If any franchise in sports deserves fancy new digs, it’s the Wings.

    • clefty1 - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:54 PM

      First of all the I like the Wings having their own arena it is all about them and they do not need to share with the Pistons. Second the Palace is out in the middle of nowhere, downtown is still centrally located for people that attend Detroit sporting events.

    • uchikowasu - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      After seeing the newer arenas in Tampa, Columbus and other cities, I am not a fan of the Palace as it has a huge design flaw. The upper deck and lower deck all feed into the same concourse. This creates huge jams at the restrooms, refreshment lines and souvenir stands. It is a nice venue but I would rather not miss the first 5 minutes of the second period because I had to stand in line for the entire intermission to use one of the few restrooms.

    • dtownbeatdown - Jun 19, 2013 at 5:24 PM

      You think the palace is the best arena in the country?! That’s rediculous. They still have those ugly purple seats, it is outdated compared to other arenas I’ve been to. And every arena that shares it’s venue always causes issues for the ice. Take Chicago for instance, there stadium is really nice, but if the bulls play the night before the hawks the ice tends to be crap. The bill for a new stadium will not be put on the taxpayers that’s crazy talk. Having all three sports venues in the same location will only help Detroit bring in more revenue, especially for all the businesses surrounding it. JLA is overly outdated and there is no good area to park. Besides the history there, and that the arenas name insnt some advertisement for a company (like ford field or comerica park)it is time for a new home.

      Moving to the palace would be a terrible mistake, there is no bar/local businesses or downtown scene to go to after a game in walking distance.

  3. timmons94 - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Give me a break, royals and chiefs play outside downtown. Cavs did for years in Richfield. If hadn’t win Lebron lottery were said to be moving. Put a good product on court or ice and fans will show downtown or in suburbs

  4. squidward247 - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    I don’t have any real problems with JLA aside from the pee troughs. They could knock out the walls at each entrance to let more light in. Aside from those two things I really don’t see a problem with it. They have suites, though they are not as close as others (see The Palace). I would prefer massive renovations than moving to a new, cold, bland, no history arena. Saying that I’m sure older Wings fans felt the same when they moved from Olympia to JLA.

    • killerpgh - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:13 PM

      I was coaching in a tournament in Detroit a few years ago and managed to seek off to a Red Wings/Avalanche game. I liked the JLA as a whole. My only complaint was the amount of time it took to get from my seat to my car after the game. I parked in a garage that was somewhat connected through some narrow walk ways and it took forever to get back to my car and forever to get out of the garage as well. But I think there was construction going on right outside of the garage and that played a part in trying to leave the garage.

      • squidward247 - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:25 PM

        Yeah, parking can be a pain. You praked in the JLA Garage, getting into and out of that can be murder. One time we waited 35 minutes before we could even back out of our spot and that happned because I got out and stood in the way of the other cars. That was the last time we parked there. Now my friends and I park on the Cobo roof or by Greektown and take the People Mover. The Cobo roof is right next door, but you have to walk down all those steps, then either take an elevator or walk back up flights of stairs.

        Ok, so pee-troughs and parking are two things that could be improved.

      • redwings1977 - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:32 PM

        Next time, park in the garage across the Lodge at 1st and Congress and take the tunnel. I used to park there for work and it seems that nobody realizes it’s connected to the Joe. You’ll be in and out in no time.

    • clefty1 - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      The Joe is outdated. Let alone the bathroom situation being terrible the seating is a bit cramped and what other arena has outside steps one has to walk up to get into an arena which can be dangerous during the winter months. It is time for something new.

  5. timmons94 - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    I get it redwings. But don’t u think Detroit needs more stuff that is more important than a new arena ???? People don’t complain about patriots playing in foxboro which is farther from downtown than Silverdome was or palace. Well close to palace distance

    • redwings1977 - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:28 PM

      Of course Detroit needs more stuff than a new arena, but even if they got it it would go to hell in no time. At least this would bring in lots of revenue. I’ve been to the Palace for numerous events, and it’s always been a hassle getting in and out of there. I’m just not a fan. The Wings need to be downtown. Put another arena down by CoPa and Ford Field and it’ll be awesome.

  6. oriongolf - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Go to The Palace in Auburn Hills. It’s the Center of the Hockey Universe, and the ghosts of the Dollar Bay Bruins haunt the ice nightly, anyhow.

  7. hockeydon10 - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Thus we will be down to a single barn that has not sold it’s name.

    Time to start the petition? Howe Arena has a nice ring to it.

    • redwings1977 - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:53 PM

      C’mon, it’s gotta be Little Caesar’s Palace. $5 Hot ‘n Readys for everyone!

      • hockinj25 - Jun 19, 2013 at 5:09 PM

        $5 hot n’ readys that will cost $10.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 19, 2013 at 7:00 PM

      Or just, officially, Hockeytown.
      (I met Gordie, I love Gordie, but Howe Arena, while well-deserved, does not roll off the tongue well at all.)

  8. uchikowasu - Jun 19, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    This makes me a little sad. I would have loved a new arena 3-4 years ago but they made some really smart renovations in the past few years and added a large number of restrooms to the point that I never have to stand in a line to use one (the ones up the stairs are huge and always empty). I just like the old place…it does not have corporate name and it feels so tiny inside even though it holds 20K plus.

    In the end though, it is not about the comfort of the fans in the seats it is all about suites, suites, suites. As was started with the design of the Palace, every new arena has two to three tiers of suites. I just hope they do not make the same mistake as the Palace and have both the upper and lower bowls feed into the same concourse. During intermission at the Palace, the lines are intolerable.

    For some great designs of new stadiums, I would look to Columbus and Tampa as they both have really great new venues. I hope they do not do like Chicago and make a giant bowl as opposed to building a more vertical arena. Due to the giant bowl shape of Chicago, when you sit in the upper deck, it feels like you are a mile from the ice.

    As for an exterior, I would love it if they went back to a red brick facade ala Olympia. That was a gorgeous building from the exterior. I do not want to see hockey in something that looks like an office building, I want something akin to a barn.

  9. uchikowasu - Jun 19, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    Egads, what if Amway buys the naming rights…I think that because they own the rights to the O-rena in Orlando, we might yet be safe. Maybe the Pizza Pizza Arena Arena?

  10. bensawesomeness - Jun 19, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    18,000 seats? c’mon guys, go big or go home!

  11. hieronymous27 - Jun 20, 2013 at 7:11 AM

    Earliest start for construction would be in April of 2014. Construction would take 24 to 30 months. That would mean the best hoped for start date for the Red Wings to be in the new arena would be October of 2016. Notice no architectural plans were released as to what the new arena would look like. Hoping the new arena would have the flavor of the old Olympia, but with no obstructions related to sight lines for viewing the game.

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