|Address||19 Steve Yzerman Drive|
|Owner||City of Detroit|
|Broke ground||May 16, 1977|
|Opened||December 12, 1979|
|Closed||July 29, 2017|
|Construction cost||US$57 million|
($230 million in 2022 dollars)
|General contractor||Barton Malow|
|Detroit Red Wings (NHL) (1979–2017)|
Detroit Pistons (NBA) (1985)
Detroit Drive (AFL) (1988–1993)
Detroit Turbos (MILL) (1989–1994)
Detroit Compuware Ambassadors (OHL) (1991–92)
Detroit Junior Red Wings (OHL) (1992–1995)
Detroit Rockers (NPSL) (1996–2000)
Joe Louis Arena was an arena in Downtown Detroit. Completed in 1979 at a cost of US$57 million as a replacement for Olympia Stadium, it sat adjacent to Cobo Center on the bank of the Detroit River and was accessible by the Joe Louis Arena station on the Detroit People Mover. The venue was named after former heavyweight champion boxer Joe Louis, who grew up in Detroit.
It was the home of the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League and the second oldest NHL venue after Madison Square Garden until the start of the 2017–18 NHL season. Joe Louis Arena was owned by the city of Detroit, and operated by Olympia Entertainment, a subsidiary of team owner Ilitch Holdings.
In April 2017, the Red Wings hosted their final game at Joe Louis Arena; the venue was succeeded by Little Caesars Arena. The arena closed in July 2017. Demolition started in early 2019 and was completed by mid-2020. A 25-story residential tower called the Residences at Water Square is under construction at the site.
The Red Wings had been playing at Olympia Stadium since 1927. However, by the late 1970s, the neighborhood around the Olympia had gradually deteriorated, especially after the 1967 Detroit riot. In 1977, the Red Wings announced that they would be moving to a proposed arena in suburban Pontiac. However, the city of Detroit countered with a proposal for a new riverfront arena in which they would charge the Red Wings much lower rent than what Pontiac was offering. The package also gave the team operational control of the arena, nearby Cobo Arena and parking lots. The Red Wings ultimately decided to stay in Detroit proper.
The arena hosted its first event on December 12, 1979: a college basketball game between the University of Michigan and the University of Detroit. The Red Wings played their first game at Joe Louis Arena on December 27, 1979, hosting the St. Louis Blues. The game ended in a 3–2 loss for the Red Wings. The Red Wings' first win at the arena came on December 30, 1979, where they defeated the New York Islanders 4–2. Later that season, it hosted the 32nd NHL All-Star Game on February 5, 1980, which was played before a then-NHL record crowd of 21,002. Joe Louis Arena was the site of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, which marked the first NHL Entry Draft to be held in the United States. In 1980, the arena hosted the Republican National Convention that nominated Ronald Reagan as the Republican candidate for President of the United States.
In 1990, color matrix boards were installed on the scoreboard; these were replaced by four Sony JumboTron video walls three years later, when the matrix boards were placed in the corners of the fascia. In 2006, LED video screens replaced the JumboTrons. The screens debuted November 22, 2006, when the Red Wings played the Vancouver Canucks. That same day, the arena's West Entrance was named the "Gordie Howe Entrance" in honor of the legendary Red Wing player, and a bronze statue of Howe was placed inside the entrance. Joe Louis Arena housed 86 premium suites. In 2008, the arena introduced the Comerica Bank Legend's Club, a 181-person private seating location in the arena's southeast corner.
Replacement and demolition
On July 20, 2014, following the July 2013 approval of a $650 million project to build a new sports and entertainment district in Downtown Detroit, Christopher Ilitch unveiled designs for a new arena near Comerica Park and Ford Field which was completed in 2017 and succeeded Joe Louis Arena as the home of the Red Wings. On October 16, 2014, lawyers involved in the ongoing Detroit bankruptcy case disclosed in court that after demolition, which will be paid for by the city and state, the land on which the arena stands, along with an adjacent parking lot, will be transferred to the Financial Guaranty Insurance Company (FGIC), a bond insurer with a $1 billion claim against the city.
The Red Wings' final game at Joe Louis Arena was played on April 9, 2017, against the New Jersey Devils. The final game at the arena also served as then Red Wings' captain Henrik Zetterberg's 1,000th game. The Red Wings won 4–1, the final goal in the arena's history coming from Red Wings forward Riley Sheahan. It was the second of two he scored, which were also the only goals he scored at all during the 2016–17 season. The last ticketed event held was a WWE Live event, held on July 29, 2017. Demolition of the interior of the arena started in early 2019, while demolition on the exterior commenced in June 2019. Due to the arena's proximity to Cobo Center, now Huntington Place, it was dismantled traditionally rather than imploded.
Other tenants and events
The Detroit Pistons 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, Pistons 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.
The Red Wings hosted the Stanley Cup Finals at the arena six times (1995, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008, and 2009). Two of their four Stanley Cup championships were clinched at Joe Louis Arena in 1997 and 2002. The Pittsburgh Penguins were the only visiting team to win the Stanley Cup at the Joe, taking home the trophy in 2009. It was also the only Game 7 of the Cup Finals played at the arena.
Joe Louis Arena was the site of the decisive Game 5 of the 2006 WNBA Finals between the Sacramento Monarchs and Detroit Shock on September 9, due to The Palace of Auburn Hills, the Shock's usual home arena, being used for a Mariah Carey concert on the same day. The Shock won the game 80–75 to clinch the championship.
Former Arena Football League team the Detroit Drive also had success during their time at the arena, playing in six consecutive ArenaBowls from 1988 to 1993 and winning four of them. Four of the games (ArenaBowl III, ArenaBowl IV, ArenaBowl V and ArenaBowl VII) were played at Joe Louis Arena.
Joe Louis Arena hosted the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, best known for the pre-competition attack on Nancy Kerrigan by associates of Tonya Harding. In addition, Joe Louis Arena was the site of the 2013 edition of the Skate America figure skating competition.
On May 7, 2015, it was announced that the Horizon League men's basketball tournament would be held in Detroit beginning in 2016 under a five-year deal; the 2016 and 2017 tournaments were held at Joe Louis Arena.
Joe Louis Arena was also a concert venue. Until the Palace opened in 1988, Joe Louis Arena was Michigan's largest indoor arena for concerts. The first concert to take place there occurred on February 17, 1980, in which Max Webster opened for the Canadian rock group Rush. This venue was used for the Alice Cooper concert film The Nightmare Returns in 1986. The last concert at the venue was Summer Jamz 20! on July 23, 2017.
|Entertainment events held at Joe Louis Arena|
|Date||Nationalities||Artists||Events||Supporting Acts||Attendance||Box Office|
|February 17||Canada||Rush||Permanent Waves Tour||Max Webster|
|May 23||United Kingdom/United States||Fleetwood Mac||Tusk Tour||Christopher Cross|
|August 25||United States||Billy Joel||Glass Houses Tour|
|September 6||United Kingdom||Elton John||1980 World Tour|
|September 19||United Kingdom||Yes||Drama Tour|
|September 20||United Kingdom||Queen||The Game Tour|
|September 26||United States||Paul Simon||One Trick Pony Tour|
|October 5||United Kingdom||Black Sabbath||Heaven & Hell Tour|
|August 11||United States||Bruce Springsteen||The River Tour|
|August 21||United States||The Jacksons||Triumph Tour|
|November 6||United States/United Kingdom||Foreigner||4||Billy Squier|
|December 4||United States||Prince||Controversy Tour|
|May 15||United States||Journey||Escape Tour|
|September 19||United Kingdom/United States||Fleetwood Mac||Mirage Tour|
|April 8||United States||Prince||1999 Tour|
|July 28||United Kingdom||The Police||Synchronicity Tour|
|July 30||United Kingdom||David Bowie||Serious Moonlight Tour|
|March 6||United Kingdom||Ozzy Osbourne||Bark at the Moon Tour|
|April 4||United States||Billy Joel||An Innocent Man Tour|
|November 4||United States||Prince||Purple Rain Tour||129,730 / 129,730||$1,967,572|
|January 4||United Kingdom||Iron Maiden||World Slavery Tour|
|January 12||United States||Aerosmith||Back In The Saddle Tour|
|February 19||United Kingdom||Deep Purple||Perfect Strangers Tour|
|March 19||United Kingdom||Roger Waters||The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking|
|April 19||United States/United Kingdom||Foreigner||Agent Provocateur||Giuffria|
|August 28||United States||Tina Turner||Private Dancer Tour|
|September 15||United States||Mötley Crüe||Theatre of Pain Tour|
|September 28||United States||Ratt||World Infestation Tour|
|April 4||United States||Metallica||Damage, Inc. Tour|
|May 9||United States||Van Halen||5150 Tour|
|May 22||United States||Aerosmith||Done with Mirrors Tour|
|August 8||United States||Run DMC||Raising Hell Tour||Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Timex Social Club|
|September 18||United Kingdom||Genesis||Invisible Touch Tour|
|October 8||United States||Journey||Raised on Radio Tour|
|February 13||United States||Megadeth||Wake Up Dead Tour|
|March 18||United Kingdom||Iron Maiden||Somewhere on Tour||Waysted|
|May 26||United States||Bon Jovi||Slippery When Wet Tour|
|July 8||United States||Boston||Third Stage Tour||38,610 / 38,610||$675,675|
|July 19||United States||Mötley Crüe||Girls, Girls, Girls Tour||Whitesnake|
|October 3||United States||Lynyrd Skynyrd||Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Tour|
|October 17||United Kingdom/United States||Fleetwood Mac||Shake the Cage Tour|
|December 5||United States||Aerosmith||Permanent Vacation Tour||19,409 / 19,409||$339,658|
|March 25||United States||Frank Sinatra||Together Again Tour||Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr.||18,500 / 18,500||$658,000|
|March 28||United States||Bruce Springsteen||Tunnel of Love Express Tour||39,550 / 39,550||$889,875|
|April 11||United States||Grateful Dead||Spring 88' tour|
|July 2||United Kingdom||Iron Maiden||Seventh Tour of a Seventh Tour||Frehley's Comet|
|July 31||United States||Run DMC||Run's House Tour||Public Enemy, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince|
|October 17||United States||New Edition||Heartbreak Tour||Bobby Brown, Al B. Sure!|
|October 30||United States||Prince||Lovesexy Tour|
|November 2||United States||Anita Baker||Giving You the Best World Tour|
|December 18||United Kingdom||Ozzy Osbourne||No Rest for the Wicked Tour|
|March 21||United States||Bon Jovi||New Jersey Syndicate Tour||17,877 / 19,868||$357,540|
|August 6||United States||LL Cool J||Nitro World Tour||Eazy E, N.W.A, Slick Rick, De La Soul|
|April 2||United States||Janet Jackson||Rhythm Nation World Tour 1990||35,645 / 35,645||$702,460|
|April 7||Germany||Milli Vanilli||Girl You Know Tour|
|July 13||United States||The B-52s||Cosmic Tour|
|July 15||United States||Public Enemy||Tour Of A Black Planet|
|August 18||United States||MC Hammer||Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em Tour|
|November 15||United States||New Kids on the Block||The Magic Summer Tour|
|April 9||United States||New Kids on the Block||The Magic Summer Tour|
|June 1||United States||Queensrÿche||Building Empires Tour||Suicidal Tendencies|
|July 3||United States||Whitney Houston||I'm Your Baby Tonight World Tour|
|December 4||United States||Janet Jackson||Janet World Tour|
|February 20||United States||New Edition||Home Again|
|May 13||United States||Pat Benatar||Innamorata|
|July 17||United States||Janet Jackson||The Velvet Rope Tour|
|October 24||United States||Prince||New Power Soul Tour|
|December 20||Various||The Night 89X Stole Christmas 1||Beck|
|July 2||United States||Brandy||Never Say Never World Tour|
|July 9||United States/United Kingdom||Bad Company / David Lee Roth||The Original Bad Company / David Lee Roth|
|July 6||United States||Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Eminem||Up in Smoke Tour||Various|
|December 7||United States||Limp Bizkit, DMX, Godsmack, Sinisstar||Anger Management Tour|
|May 12||Australia||AC/DC||Stiff Upper Lip World Tour||Wide Mouth Mason|
|June 23||United States||Prince||A Celebration|
|October 13||United Kingdom||Elton John||Songs from the West Coast Tour|
|September 17||United States||Ted Nugent||Craveman||REO Speedwagon|
|September 19||REO Speedwagon, Meat Loaf, Kid Rock|
|September 20||United States||Kid Rock||Cocky Tour||Lynyrd Skynyrd|
|May 17||United States||Cher||Living Proof: The Farewell Tour|
|June 12||United States/United Kingdom||Journey, REO Speedwagon, Styx||Classic Rock's Main Event|
|November 22||United States||Earth, Wind & Fire||Crown Royal Comedy Soul Festival||The Isley Brothers|
|March 11||United States||Kelly Clarkson||The Independent Tour||Clay Aiken|
|July 10||United States||Van Halen||Best of Both Worlds||Silvertide|
|July 30||United States||Prince||Musicology Live 2004ever|
|August 21||United States||Kenny Chesney||Guitars, Tiki Bars and a Whole Lotta Love Tour||Rascal Flatts|
|September 23||United States||REO Speedwagon||2004 tour|
|April 23||United States||Snoop Dogg||How the West Was Won Tour||The Game|
|August 4||Various||American Idols Live! Tour 2005|
|August 5||United States||REO Speedwagon||2005 tour|
|August 27||United States||Kenny Chesney||Somewhere in the Sun Tour||Gretchen Wilson|
|September 29||United States||System of a Down||Mezmerize/Hypnotize||Hella, The Mars Volta|
|October 7||United States||Foo Fighters||In Your Honor||Weezer, Kaiser Chiefs|
|October 8||United States||Queens of the Stone Age||Lullabies to Paralyze Tour||Autolux, Nine Inch Nails|
|December 3||United States||Dave Matthews Band||2005 Fall Tour||Soulive|
|December 23||United States||Various||We Ain’t Done Yet Holladay Jam Tour||Ciara, Chris Brown, Bow Wow|
|February 3||United States||Kid Rock||Live Trucker Tour||Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Ty Stone|
In popular culture
- "Joe Louis Arena History". NHL.com. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- "Arena Central". NHL.com. Archived from the original on July 1, 2017. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- "Begin Work on Stadium". The Ludington Daily News. UPI. May 17, 1977. Retrieved December 8, 2012.
- Krupa, Greg (October 17, 2016). "The Final Period Begins for Joe Louis Arena". The Detroit News. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- Regner, Arthur J. (March 6, 2017). "Basketball at the Joe: quality over quantity". NHL.com. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- Durr, Matt (July 28, 2017). "Brock Lesnar wrestling in rare WWE match Saturday in Detroit". MLive. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- Durr, Matt (July 30, 2017). "WWE superstars shine in farewell event at Joe Louis Arena". MLive. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- Reindl, JC (February 3, 2018). "Demolition countdown begins for Detroit's Joe Louis Arena". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
- "About Olympia Entertainment". Olympia Entertainment. Archived from the original on August 11, 2017. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved May 28, 2023.
- Detroit Red Wings 2014-15 Media Guide (PDF). National Hockey League. p. 289. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- Detroit Red Wings 2015-16 Media Guide (PDF). National Hockey League. p. 291. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- Detroit Red Wings 2016-17 Media Guide (PDF). National Hockey League. p. 294. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- Wojnowski, Bob (August 10, 2010). "Competitive Spirit Makes Mike Ilitch Perfect Fit for Pistons". The Detroit News. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
- Kramer, Jon (April 7, 2017). "A Farewell to Joe Louis Arena - Stats & Info". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- Williams, Candice (December 18, 2018). "State approves $10M loan for Joe Louis Arena demolition". The Detroit News. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- Marini, Miriam (May 21, 2020). "Demolition continues at the site of Joe Louis Arena". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
- Reindl, JC (May 11, 2022). "Joe Louis Arena site tower could be finished in spring 2024". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved May 1, 2023.
- Williams, Candice (April 26, 2023). "Developer releases details of apartment complex on old Joe Louis Arena site". The Detroit News. Retrieved July 9, 2023.
- Lee, Ardelia (July 15, 2016). "A Great Arena On Grand River That's Now Gone: The Story Of Detroit's Olympia Stadium". Daily Detroit. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
- "Red Wings Announce Move to Pontiac, Mich". The New York Times. Associated Press. April 2, 1977. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- Seidel, Jeff (April 6, 2017). "Joe Louis Arena: Saying good-bye to the heart of Hockeytown". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
- Henderson, Tom (September 10, 2017). "Of Olympia, Joe Louis Arena and a near-miss with history". Crain's Detroit Business. Archived from the original on March 10, 2021. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
- Khan, Ansar (December 26, 2009). "Red Wings Celebrate 30th Anniversary of Joe Louis Arena". MLive. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
- "Relive first Red Wings game, Red Wings win, concert at Joe Louis Arena". Detroit Free Press. April 8, 2017. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- "NHL All-Star Game Historical Summaries - 1980". NHL.com. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- "Best moments in Joe Louis Arena history: No. 6". Detroit Free Press. April 2, 2017. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- "Joe Louis Arena". Ballparks.com. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
- Muller, David (July 24, 2013). "$650 million Detroit Red Wings arena project clears another public financing hurdle". MLive. Retrieved July 24, 2013.
- Shea, Bill (June 19, 2013). "DDA, Red Wings unveil $650 million arena and entertainment complex". Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
- Shea, Bill (July 20, 2014). "Detroit Rink City: Ilitches' grand plan to supersize the entertainment district". Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
- AlHajal, Khalil (October 16, 2014). "Detroit bankruptcy deal: Joe Louis Arena site to go to creditor for hotel development". MLive. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
- Savage, Brendan (April 9, 2017). "Watch Red Wings' Riley Sheahan end 79-game drought with first goal". MLive. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- Sipple, George (April 9, 2017). "What slump? Riley Sheahan scores two goals in Joe Louis Arena finale". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- Manzullo, Brian (May 16, 2019). "A look inside Joe Louis Arena as it's being demolished". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
- Ramirez, Charles E. (June 17, 2019). "Demo crews begin removing Joe Louis Arena's exterior panels". The Detroit News. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
- Aguilar, Louis (March 11, 2018). "Life after the Joe: Big changes proposed for site". The Detroit News. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
- Reindl, JC (March 4, 2019). "Joe Louis Arena demolition to start soon: Here's what's coming down". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
- "Farewell to the Joe: OHL memories abound". Ontario Hockey League. December 4, 2016. Retrieved December 23, 2018.
- Sipple, George (September 24, 2014). "New Detroit Arena Will Be in Mix to Host Many Events". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- "Best moments in Joe Louis Arena history: No. 10". Detroit Free Press. March 29, 2017. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- Kuc, Chris (March 8, 2017). "Ode to The Joe: Detroit's venerable Joe Louis Arena set for its last hurrah". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
- Kasan, Sam (June 12, 2019). "2009 Rewind: Stanley Cup Champions". NHL.com. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
- "Best moments in Joe Louis Arena history: Nos. 11-20". Detroit Free Press. March 28, 2017. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- "ArenaBowl 88". AFLDigital.com. Archived from the original on December 24, 2018. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
- "ArenaBowl 89". AFLDigital.com. Archived from the original on December 24, 2018. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
- "ArenaBowl 90". AFLDigital.com. Archived from the original on December 24, 2018. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
- "ArenaBowl 91". AFLDigital.com. Archived from the original on December 24, 2018. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
- "ArenaBowl 92". AFLDigital.com. Archived from the original on December 24, 2018. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
- "ArenaBowl 93". AFLDigital.com. Archived from the original on December 24, 2018. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
- Raven, Benjamin (March 12, 2017). "Most memorable WWE moments at Joe Louis Arena through the years". MLive. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
- Brand-Williams, Oralandar (October 20, 2013). "Kerrigan and Harding: Biggest story of '94 Olympics ties to The Joe". The Detroit News. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
- "Detroit hosting 2013 Skate America at Joe Louis Arena". ClickOnDetroit.com. March 31, 2017. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
- Paul, Tony (May 7, 2015). "Moving Horizon League tourney to Detroit is all about branding". The Detroit News. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
- "Farewell to the Joe: Day's hat-trick one for the memories". Ontario Hockey League. December 4, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2022.
- DiFilippo, Alex (January 23, 2017). "Final "Duel in the D" at the Joe set for Feb. 10". NHL.com. Retrieved March 12, 2022.
- Berenter, Josh (February 11, 2017). "Michigan wins the Duel in the D in dramatic fashion". NHL.com. Retrieved March 12, 2022.
- Graham, Adam (April 6, 2017). "Joe Louis Arena handled concerts like a champ". The Detroit News. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
- Manzullo, Brian (January 19, 2017). "Here's who performed the first concert at each Detroit sports venue". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
- "ALICE COOPER: 'The Nightmare Returns' To Receive DVD Release Tomorrow". Blabbermouth.net. July 31, 2006. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
- Graff, Gary (July 19, 2017). "Joe Louis ends concert history with Summer Jamz 20!". The Oakland Press. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
- Hinds, Julie (August 13, 2015). "The famous 1989 Detroit concert by N.W.A, then and now". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved August 5, 2022.
|Events and tenants|
|Preceded by|| Home of the Detroit Red Wings
|Preceded by|| Host of the NHL All-Star Game
|Preceded by|| Host of the Frozen Four
|Preceded by|| Host of the Frozen Four
|Preceded by|| Host of the Frozen Four
|Preceded by|| Home of the Royal Rumble