The Joe is a dump. They need a new arena like whoa.
OT - How do you feel about the Joe?
The Joe has all the history though. They could just as well do a multi-million overhaul and expansion.
This is the route I would go. Too much history, too much sentimental value. The Red Wings are the Joe and the Joe is the Red Wings.
It doesn't have THAT much history. It was built in 1979. (Olympia Arena was the Wings' longtime arena before that.) It can be torn down. The city really could use that land for the Cobo expansion.
I agree that Joe has the history. It is sad to see old stadiums go - Boston Garden, the old Chicago Stadium, and even the evil empire Yankee Stadium. Spend the money and give it a good face lift.
Boston Garden, Chicago Stadium and Yankee Stadium were built in the 1920's. The Joe was built in 1979. There is absolutely no comparison. It's a piece of crap from a decade in which architects decided to build souless, "multi-purpose" monstrosities.
Not to mention it's not in an ideal entertainment district. They can build behind the Fox and then you can actually walk around after the games to different bars not named Cobo Joe's or the Post.
Also, while the Wings currently enjoy the benefits of a discount by players, this will certainly diminsh when other teams offer state of the art facilities.
If they ever built a new hockey arena near Comerica and Ford Field they should put a few more parking decks around that area. I had tickets for a Tigers Game against Pedro Martinez and the there was a concert at the Fox and the Lions had a pre-season game and I couldn't find a parking spot 30 minutes before the first pitch. Had season tickets since CoPa opened and tried to park in every nook and cranny I could think of.
would you compare the garden and yankee stadium to joe louis arena.
I'm all for Yankees bashing, but c'mon, evil? Yankee Stadium was an absolute classic. Its nickname, "The Cathedral of Baseball" is well-earned.
I respect great stadiums. If Fenway Park is Michigan Stadium, then the Yankee Stadium is the Shoe. You may hate every ounce of every asswipe in there, but you can't deny the power of the edifice that holds them.
Hate the poop, not the sphincter!
the red sox to the yankees is beyond me. they run the exact same type of organization, just a bit more smartly than Cahman & steinbrenner the last 6 years or so. they spend a gazillion and are on TV all the time. they also get 14 guys on the AL all star roster.
and yankee stadium was a shrine to baseball & all, but man that thing was dirty, cramped etc... well not as much as Tiger stadium was but still.
the Red Sox.
I don't prefer the Red Sox. I hate the shit out of both teams. The Yankees have the bigger fuckwad for an owner, but Red Sox fans are a zillion times more obnoxious than Yankees fans. They're narcissistic and bitter beyond all belief. Yankees fans are arrogant as all get-out, and it's obnoxious too, but I can at least identify a little bit with it because of the Red Wings.
But again, I've been to most MLB stadiums now, and Fenway is something else.
I likened it to Michigan Stadium, because when you're inside, even with the renovations, you still feel like you're watching the same game that was played in the 1920s. If you were given one match to make a person fall in love with the game of football, you would take that person to Michigan Stadium. If they were to do the same for baseball, Fenway should host.
As for Yankee Stadium, like the Horseshoe in Columbus, it was a megalith, a true "stadium" to Fenway's "ballpark." If football/baseball were under attack from a mean legislator trying to shut it down, the free and open Big House and Fenway Park don't suffice; you take that game to Columbus or the Bronx, and browbeat that motherfucker into submission.
Both are grand, but for different reasons. Fenway/Michigan Stadium invite you to consider the game. Watching the sport is a transcendent experience, its architectural purpose to allow its denizens to enjoy and experience the game to the greatest effect. Yankee Stadium/Ohio Stadium, those edifices are purpose-built to impose the will of those teams on all comers. Entering their arcades, you are architecturally beaten with the Buckeye/Yankee hammer until forced to submit to the greatness of the teams those buildings represent.
In a word, Michigan Stadium and Fenway Park would be "wonderful." The Shoe and The House that Ruth built: they are awesome.
I love the Joe and always will, but the thing that sucks the most about it (even worse than the hour long lines for the men's room during intermissions) is that there's basically nothing to do around the arena. If you want to go to the bar before/after the game, walking is out of the question -- you either need to take the people mover, a shuttle, or a cab, and any of those can be a huge pain in the ass (and occasionally scary as fuck).
Putting up a new arena in a more central location (Foxtown) would make it easier to actually stick around and hang out at a bar or restaurant or whatever, which obviously helps out the city. It also wouldn't hurt to knock down some of those oldass abandoned buildings behind the Fox to make room for everything.
Having the arena right by Comerica Park and Ford Field would be a pretty sweet set-up. It reminds me of what they have in Cleveland, where Quicken Loans Arena is right next to the Jake. As much as I hate all things Ohio (especially Cleveland), it's actually cool that they have both of those right near each other, with a whole shitload of bars in the surrounding area.
I can't argue with the location benefits of Foxtown, but consider this:
Sunday, October 2012, Detroit -
"Traffic is blocked for 8 miles on major expressways as the Lions play the Browns at 1 PM, followed by the Tigers at 7, who host the Yankees in the ALCS Game 2, and across the street, the Red Wings host the Blues in an early season battle."
I know the scheduling people are pretty good, but you just KNOW sooner or later something like that is gonna crop up by accident.
You're right, that would indeed be a clusterfuck. But that would just be one instance -- and an extremely infrequent one at that. Something like that would only happen if all of the proverbial stars aligned. I don't think the prospect of a day like that is enough to outweigh all of the positives of putting a new arena over there.
Also, (1) just imagine how amazing the atmosphere would be in Detroit on a day like that, and (2) if the Tigers are in the ALCS with homefield advantage, I'd be willing to put up with some extra shitty traffic for one day.
The clusterfuck would probably be on the highways more than downtown itself. If the parades in '04 and '08 taught us anything, Detroit has a remarkable ability to soak up cars, even if 8 parking lots become another arena.
Keep in mind, for the city, a clusterfuck is a good thing, especially if people can't get on the highway, because fans then have to look at other options like:
1. Parking somewhere else and taking public transit. This means park at an outer bar and take the shuttle, which means business for the bar. Or park on the people mover line, which means business for the businesses near people mover stops.
2. Hang at a local bar for awhile until traffic clears.
3. Condense cars. Packed cars mean more people drinking when they come to the city.
4. Taxis. Another big boon to the city's economy.
One of Detroit's biggest problems is that it's so car-friendly, so we 'burbanites can get in and out without spending any money down there.
the opportunity to go to all three games! Or at least 2 of 3...
Would traffic really be any better right now on a day in which the Tigers, Lions and Wings play? They're all downtown as it is. We're talking about the Wings moving like one mile north. If I want to go downtown I take the same expressway to go to either place.
Olympia and Tiger Stadium had far more history than the Joe. Both of those facilities are gone now.
If Illich is willing to make a major contribution to building the arena (and I think there is precedent as I believe he paid for the lionshare of Comerica) move it by Foxtown with the other sporting facilities. It's more efficient in terms of mutually used parking, provides greater critical mass for the bars and restaurants of the area, and is generally a winning idea all around.
The Joe is not a historical landmark to any extent like Tiger Stadium was, but time moves on.
I agree, if this was a talk about Olympia, I would have a hard time with it.
I have memories from the Joe, but most of the stories include me wondering why everyone is peeing in a huge bathtub full of ice.
My only worry with a new stadium is that it would be the Palace in downtown Detroit: nice, but not a great deal of character. The Palace is a stumpy Pringles can in a field.
Maybe it is just too many years at Yost speaking, but hockey needs a little different environment. Olympia would be amazing to see again. Obviously, Ilitch still owns the name.
Finally: yeah, tax money would still be spent in this pursuit. $115M of the $300M that CoPa required was funded with public dollars... I would have a hard time imagining that a hockey club could independently sign that bill.
if any hockey club can independently foot that bill, it is the Red Wings.
Baseball stadiums are the most expensive things to build. Hockey arenas are like a quarter of the size and the cost.
On the other hand, "footing the bill" of a, say, $250 million* arena like I'm talking about, is not feasible for any hockey organization, even the Red Wings. It would have to be a major loan, with naming rights alleviating some of the cost.
* $375 M is what the Devils paid for the Prudential Center, the current standard-bearer for NHL arenas. Of course, that thing was ridiculous. Most new stadiums were built for about $150 M, but I would imagine any arena for the NHL's marquee franchise couldn't be built on the cheap, either.
However, construction would be considerably cheaper in Detroit, particularly because it's just parking lots right now (NJ had to tear down buildings and work within a neighborhood). That was built with EWR money, with the stadium naming rights of ~$100M going directly toward the city. For Detroit to fund this, public funding would be considerably, considerably, less.
I'd say $250 million for the whole project would be a good estimate, but that includes all the side stuff. The Wings would be responsible for building the stadium ($175 million), with the state contributing the area improvements.
Spending money on sports instead of, say, education, seems like a bad idea at a glance. But keep in mind that money stays in the city -- you typically contract local firms who hire local people. It's a shot-in-the-arm kind of project.
You have to ask yourself why the Palace lacks character... it's because on an effing industrial plain in the middle of nowhere.
It's an indoor building. When people are inside, I doubt they are thinking about the gigantic parking lot outside. You could move the whole building to the most prime location in the metro area and it would have the same character.
new arenas suck. most of them resemble shopping malls more than sports venues
they sound great in theory (yay, bathrooms!), then you show up and its sterile and boring
then in 10 years you need a new one because the team down the road has bigger luxury suites or something
bsb2002 is the winner of the day. Having been to my share of new stadiums and arenas, once you get beyond the "retro" facade and more bathrooms, they do generally suck.
You're further away from the action (i.e. the closest seat in Comerica's upper deck is equal in distance to the furthest seat in the Tiger Stadium upper deck), ticket prices are higher, the place caters to the uber rich, oh and taxpayers end up footing the bill. And then when a team gets sick of it, they move on to something else.
Look at Memphis. The Pyramid Arena was built in 1991. It hosted the Grizzlies from 2001-2004 before the FedEx Forum opened, with more luxury boxes. Eventually, the team will move because they're awful and attendance is atrocious and the city will be left holding the bag for 2 arenas with no other use that they're still paying down debt on.
There's a Comerica Park or Ford Field or new hockey arena in every city in America now and they all look the same, mostly because they're all built by the same 1-2 architecture firms.
Since Baltimore's Camden Yards opened in 1992, how many baseball teams have new stadiums? 19 of 32 (and 12 in the 2000s). The Twins open a new stadium next year, the Marlins in 2012, the Rays are working on their own new facility.
The Palace, built in 1988 is now one of the oldest NBA arenas! Though I give the Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment a ton of credit, since it is one of the only completely privately financed professional venues in the country, and I believe the most successful venue of its kind with all the events that go on there.
Anyway, back to the Joe, if Ilitch wants to replace the arena and asks for even a dime of public money (outside infrastructure/road improvements to the area) it would be ridiculous, especially given how much in the poor house that Detroit and the region is in right now.
Only time will tell what happens.
I agree in general. If you have a truly historic park (Tiger Stadium certainly qualified), you really should just renovate it. But the Joe is a new-style arena. The upper deck seats really aren't that close to the action (they're much farther away than Olympia's were). It doesn't have the quirky charms of an old barn. It's a product of the 1970s when architects tried to make stadiums/arenas as bland and "multi-purpose" as possible. And it's in a crappy location and stands in the way of a Cobo expansion. Moving to a new facility, in this case, makes sense.
As for using taxpayer money, while I personally disagree with doing so, it's pretty much a given that voters will approve. And if the new arena strengthens the downtown area (both by enhancing the Foxtown entertainment district and by allowing a Cobo expansion to proceed), you could argue that the cost is justified.
I like both your ideas. Unfortunately, they are far too rational to be done in this city
But there's an argument for history. Not to mention lack of a corporate sponsorship name.
History is not in a building, it's in your mind and heart.
Generally speaking, people need reminders of history in order that it may remain in one's heart and mind. Books, statues, places, buildings, etc. do this. They may not be "history", but they hold a place in history, and can be historic. Now whether this pertains to JLA in particular is the question.
All those things could be placed inside a new arena.
me later. They are looking at (at least two) other locations besides the Foxtown location.
We're aware. One is near the casino and the other is somewhere undisclosed. The problem is that the Foxtown site came back as the best option when they did a viability study.
In Grand Forks, ND. I'm here in ND this week with my wife who's doing an online masters's through UND (it's her residency week) and I took a tour of 'the Ralph' (www.theralph.com)... it is a beauty of a hockey arena, seats about 11,000 at full capacity, has luxury suites, great site lines, the seats are almost on top of the ice, and the concourse / guest amenities are top notch. Not to mention the kick-ass Sioux logos done in hand laid tile/stone outside that circle the arena that are about 20 feet large... if Illitch hired those architects, scaled up the design to about 20,000, the Red Wings would have the premier hockey arena in the world and how cool would it be to see the Red Wing logo emblazoned on the side of the building looking out in every direction.
I like the Joe, but I am not endeared to it by any means.
The only things the Joe has going for it are the sightlines from the upper deck and a really cool name. The Olympia might have had better, but it was smaller. The Joe is ugly on the outside, which I guess means it's a good thing that it's tucked away in a completely useless section of the city in a horrible location.
Granted, it's also the place where Steve Yzerman played all his games, but if the Wings can tear down the place where Gordie Howe played, they can do the same to the Joe. For the city's sake, Cobo Hall needs to be expanded onto the Joe's footprint. This is a must. Cobo's too small. A new arena would be a really nice double whammy of allowing Cobo to be expanded there and a shot in the arm for Foxtown, which is mostly a big empty blotch of parking lots and half-used old buildings.
I like the thought of an amazing modern arena inside, but designed to look like Olympia on the outside. I'd like to see it built behind FOX. When you travel down Elizabeth St away from Comerica, there appear to be a lot of abandoned buildings. I'd love to see the arena put here. Like mentioned, turn JLA into something Cobo can use to help keep the Auto Show. As far as tearing down the Joe...If they can tear down Olympia and Tiger Stadium...
all this talk about memories and tradition...I'd say toughen up and go for the new stadium. As long as the BIG HOUSE isn't being replaced everything's ok.
Oh, and let's not forget the most important thing: a new stadium won't change the fact that the Wings are a perennial championship contender.
The Joe is a shithole and that's an understatement.
I like the joe. the sight lines are amazing, even from the top row because the press box and suites are at the top insted of the middle like all the new arenas. it doesn't have a sponsorship in the name which is nice. The inside is decorated well with red wings stuff everywhere, and the concessions are well maintained. The things I don't like are that it looks completely bland from the ouside, the bathroom lines are long, and it's kind of seperated from the bars and stuff.
But I can look past those things. keep it and renovate it. if they build a new one, the press box and suites will push the upper deck all the way to space. have you been in the palace top few rows?! you can't see shit! make the outside look nicer and build bigger and more restrooms. then I will be more than happy with it.
It's footprint is maxed out, you can't really expand it that much.
"he inside is decorated well with red wings stuff everywhere, and the concessions are well maintained."
I feel like this would be the case in the new arena as well.
And right off the bat a new arena would need to improve a few things. There should be a Red Wings hall of fame, statues of great players, etc. It should be a shrine to hockey in Detroit.