It’s long been speculated that the Detroit Red Wings would be building a new stadium to replace the 33-year-old Joe Louis Arena, but until recently it had merely been speculation. It was reported in the Sport Business Journal that the Red Wings have hired an architect firm to design and build a new stadium for the team in Detroit.
The team and Mike Illich’s Olympia Entertainment, which owns the Red Wings among other things, have hired the architect firm HKS to partner with Chan Krieger NBBJ to develop the new jewel in Detroit.
Both firms are experienced and bring good pedigrees with them for the new Red Wings stadium. HKS was the firm that developed and built the American Airline Center in Dallas. The American Airlines Center is home to the Dallas Stars and the Dallas Mavericks and has long been one of the most appealing and well designed stadiums in the NHL and NBA. NBBJ is a Boston-based firm that has worked in Detroit for some time on the Detroit Riverfront Project and specializes in urban environments.
Both firms are tasked with replacing the 20,066 seat Joe Louis Arena with a new 18,000 seat stadium in downtown Detroit. With the two firms joining to develop a new stadium, it could be safe to say that the Red Wings will find themselves calling one of the most impressive stadiums in the NHL home in just a couple years.
The Red Wings have long expressed their desire to move out of Joe Louis Arena, which despite having a fantastic location on the Detroit River, makes no effort to capitalize on it. Once a fan enters the stadium it is like a concrete tomb, the stadium could be anywhere in the city and the river is completely forgotten. One thing holding the Red Wings to Joe Louis is the highly favorable lease that costs the team just $1 per year for the land.
But Detroit is looking for an upgrade to their facilities, Joe Louis was built in 1979 and looks like it. The seats are narrow and there is little leg room for taller individuals. A major factor in Detroit’s hunt for a new stadium is their desire for more retail space within the building. There is very little retail space available inside Joe Louis Arena, with just a little more than two permanent shops in the building, the rest of the concourse is filled with temporary shops.
There is much speculation as to where a new stadium for the Red Wings would be built, with many businesses taking guesses and buying land close to areas where they believe a new stadium may spring up. The most likely location for a new stadium would be behind the Fox Theatre and Hockeytown Café just off of Woodward Ave.
Olympia Entertainment has been quietly buying up parking lots behind the Fox Theatre for several years now, and surprisingly all of the parking lots connect to one another, wonder if that’s a coincidence? Illich has also long said that he wishes to have a “Fox Town” around the Fox Theatre. This “Fox Town” would encompass the Fox Theatre, Comerica Park, Hockeytown Café and Motor City Casino, as well as the newly constructed Red Wings stadium.
No designs for the new stadium have been published, but HKS and NBBJ will more than likely look to the newly built stadiums in the NHL and draw from the successes that have been found in them. The Xcel Energy Center in Minneapolis is a gorgeous stadium, as is the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh; if the new stadium in Detroit takes the best from each of those buildings, Red Wings fans will enjoy their new stadium for many years to come.
6 replies on “Red Wings take first steps toward new stadium in downtown Detroit“
I’ve been to Chicago, Dallas, Trashville, Columbus, Boston, and Raleigh. Dallas is probably the nicest of them all, but they all feel like you’re in Somerset Mall more than at a hockey game both inside and out. I HATE the 3 floor designs too and if you have third floor seats, you can’t eat real food! This is why I like about the Joe (it’s only 2 floors). Please design the outside a replica to the Olympia and the inside so there’s an upper and lower deck, not three.
its only my opinion , I’m sure the new stadium will be top notch ! But as a fan I would love to see the Red wing orginization build something that would resemble a larger and updated version of the old Olympia using similar site lines , forget the other “new stadiums ” build something for Detroit Fans that says “this place is ours and there isnt any place else like it and its great “
two places i hope they decide to build the new arena on .either the site of the old Tiger stadium , or where the Olympia stood ,not sure if that is possible where olympia was , havent been in that area for years , not sure if its already developed…..just my 2 cents
Gonna miss the Joe, but I miss olympia too!! Can’t wait to come home in a few years and check out hockeytowns new digs!!
I just hope they make the outside of the stadium look like the old olympia then we can call it the red barn ounce again.Also put the red wing logos on each side of the red line at center ice but only use the logos that the old olympia had. Those were so kool…
I agree with making it look like the old olympia! REDWING FANS WANT IT TO BE DIFFERENT FROM ALL OTHERS! WE STRONGLY FEEL IT SHOULD LOOK MORE UPDATED N ROOMIER, ETC, OF COURSE, BUT PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE MAKE IT LIKE THE OLD OLYMPIA!! I DONT KNOW MANY WINGS FANS OUT THERE WHO OTHER HOCKEY FANS LOOK AT N SAY “JEEZ, YOUR DEFINITELY A DIE HARD RED WINGS FAN…IT DOESNT MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, YOU NEVER STOP WATCHING, NEVER GIVE UP HOPE, CHEERING, GOING TO GAMES, GETTING TOGETHER FOR THE GAMES, N YOUR HOUSE IS FILLED WITH TONS OF WINGS THINGS…THATS HOW A WINGS FAN IS…WE LIVE FOR HOCKEY SEASON AND FEEL AS IF OUR WINGS TEAM IS A PART OF OUR FAMILY! MOST OF US GREW UP WITH IT ALL AROUND US SO IT IS A PART OF OUR HERITAGE IN A SENSE…ITS IN THE BLOOD….
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