What might become of Joe Louis Arena after the Red Wings? - KMSP-TV

What might become of Joe Louis Arena after the Red Wings?

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Joe Louis Arena in downtown Detroit Joe Louis Arena in downtown Detroit
DETROIT (WJBK) -

So many great memories have been made at Joe Louis Arena. It really holds a special place in people's hearts, but many say even though it will be tough to say goodbye, it is time.

"If there is no major tenant, then part of the deal should be finding the dollars to demolish the Joe Louis Arena," said Detroit City Council Member Saunteel Jenkins.

Could that be the future for The Joe? With plans for a new Red Wings arena, it is uncertain, but one thing is for sure, nobody wants it to become an eyesore sitting on the riverfront.

"The authority would obviously consider anything that we felt was in the best interest to the state's taxpayers and evaluate those options at the time," said Patrick Bero.

He is CEO and CFO of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority, which is completing a $279 million renovation of Cobo Center. He said they have not been approached directly about purchasing Joe Louis Arena, but might eventually consider acquiring the city-owned property.

"We've certainly envisioned multiple scenarios, some of them which would involve redevelopment of the Joe Louis Arena because most of the people have known this was coming for some time," Bero said.

The possibilities? Theater seating for presentations or maybe a hotel, a museum or an aquarium. What they do not want is the same disastrous scenario that happened in Pontiac with the Silverdome.

"We just strongly encourage the city leaders to examine what they're going to do with that property and make sure that it maximizes the value for all interested parties, and we are certainly one of those interested parties as its neighbor," Bero said.

A spokesperson for Mayor Dave Bing said they have no information to share on the future of Joe Louis Arena at this time. Some hope it sticks around.

"It's a classic building," said Andrew Mancini. "It's getting a little old, but it could've stayed a couple more years. But I'm excited about the new arena."

"I like The Joe. I hope they keep The Joe. I don't think we should be spending $650 million on a new stadium when Detroit could use a lot of other things," said Hugh Maceachern.

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