NHL Wiki
Joe Louis Arena
The Joe, JLA
File:Joe Louis Arena.JPG
Location 600 Civic Center Drive
Detroit, Michigan
Broke ground 1977
Opened December 12, 1979
Owner City of Detroit
Operator Olympia Entertainment
Construction cost $57 million
Architect Smith, Hinchmen and Grylls Associates
Capacity Ice hockey: 20,066
Detroit Red Wings (NHL) (1979–present)
Detroit Drive (AFL) (1988-1993)
Detroit Compuware Ambassadors (OHL) (1991-1992)
Detroit Junior Red Wings (OHL) (1992-1995)
Detroit Rockers (NPSL) (1996–2001)
Detroit Turbos (MILL) (1989-1994)

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.

Joe Louis Arena hosts college hockey events as part of College Hockey at The Joe and Great Lakes Invitational. It also played host to the 1980 Republican National Convention. More recently, WWE held Survivor Series 2005 on November 27, 2005.

Several plans for a replacement arena have been raised for years; presently, JLA is considered somewhat outdated due to its lack of luxury boxes and other revenue-generating amenities.

File:New scoreboard.jpg

The scoreboard hanging in Joe Louis Arena with the updated television screen.

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.


  • Built: 1977-1979
  • Construction Cost: $57 million
  • Seating Capacity: 20,066 (including suites); 20,338 for end-stage concerts and 21,152 for center-stage concerts.
  • Dimensions: 328 x 550 x 85 (ft), approximately 12 million ft³ (340,000 m³).
  • Home Team: Detroit Red Wings (NHL).
  • Former Teams: Detroit Rockers (National Professional Soccer League II) 1996-01, Detroit Pistons of the NBA for one playoff game in 1984 because of venue unavailability, and 15 games in 1985 after the roof collapsed at the Pontiac Silverdome, Detroit Compuware Ambassadors (OHL) 1991-92, Detroit Junior Red Wings (OHL) 1992-95, Detroit Drive (Arena Football League) 1988-93, Detroit Turbos (Major Indoor Lacrosse League) 1989-94, Detroit Shock, (Women's National Basketball Association) for playoff games in 2004 and the 2006 WNBA Finals Game 5 when The Palace of Auburn Hills was unavailable because of a concert.
  • Opening event: December 12, 1979, basketball game between the University of Michigan and the University of Detroit.
  • Opening hockey event: December 27, 1979, the Detroit Red Wings versus the St. Louis Blues. St. Louis won that particular night.
  • Other events: concerts, John Hancock (Insurance) Champions On Ice, three NCAA Frozen Four college hockey finals, college basketball, others.
  • Championships: Detroit Red Wings (1997, 1998 & 2002), Detroit Rockers (1991), Detroit Drive (1988 , 1989 & 1990), Detroit Turbos (1991).
  • Site of WWF The Main Event 1990, Survivor Series 1991, Survivor Series 1999, Survivor Series 2005, Vengeance 2002, as well as Royal Rumble 2009.
  • Site of WCW Halloween Havoc in 1994 and 1995.
  • Site of the annual Great Lakes Invitational, in college hockey.

External links[]