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If new home built for Red Wings, will the beloved Joe have to go?

December 5, 2012

Prospects for a new $650-million downtown Detroit sports arena and entertainment district that would provide new home ice for the Detroit Red Wings prompts questions about the future of Joe Louis Arena, the NHL hockey team's home for the last 33 years. The ambitious development plans unveiled Tuesday by team owner Mike Ilitch's organization contained no mention of the aging Joe Louis. The arena's neighbor to the east -- Cobo Center -- is undergoing a nearly $300-million renovation. Robin Boyle, professor and chair of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at Wayne State University, said the arena site could be key to the riverfront's ongoing redevelopment. "It strikes me that with the redevelopment of Cobo, the removal of the Ford Auditorium, and now the potential for clearing the Joe Louis Arena, we've got a very rich opportunity," Boyle said.