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Wings will sign multi-year lease at the Joe

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Red Wings' arena dilemma will eventually occupy a lot of Tom Wilson's time

BY MICHAEL ROSENBERG

FREE PRESS COLUMNIST

Nothing has been announced yet, but pretty soon the Red Wings will sign an agreement to play at Joe Louis Arena next season. New Olympia Entertainment executive Tom Wilson said this week that a new lease "should happen," echoing the recent words of his boss, Mike Ilitch, on WXYT-FM (97.1).

Wilson would not get into details, but it is likely that the team will sign a multi-year agreement with the city, because nobody wants to go through this again next year. And right now, the Red Wings have no other options.

http://www.freep.com/article/20100528/COL22/5280375/1319/Tom-Wilson-wants-facets-of-Ilitchs-Olympia-empire-working-together

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Seems as though unless the Ilitch's want to pay for a new arena all by themselves - they're between a rock, and a hard spot (really no surprise there considering the economic woes the city of Detroit is in).

Looks like it'll be the Joe for another 4, or more years.

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Seems as though unless the Ilitch's want to pay for a new arena all by themselves - they're between a rock, and a hard spot (really no surprise there considering the economic woes the city of Detroit is in).

Looks like it'll be the Joe for another 4, or more years.

I completely understand the situation, but the Joe has got to go... it is easily one of the most dilapidated and over-crammed venues in professional sports - It was built to hold WAY less people and the bathrooms, concessions, etc can't handle the load, not to mention the seats are uncomfortable, the "luxury" boxes are above the nose bleed section and it's in a pretty crap area in the city (not necessarily crime, but location in relation to local bars, etc)

I love tradition and don't want a corporate name either, but if it means getting them in a new venue, team up with a major corporation and give them naming rights for a chunk of change to build it...

homertime likes this

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ive been to alot of different NHL arenas over the years and im not just saying this because im a Wings fan, but i love the Joe defintly the top in my books it has that old feel to it, where as soon as your even outside the Joe you feel like your at a hockey game not like some of the newer ones. the only thing that i dont like about the Joe are the seats they are so uncomfortable. If the put in new seats and maybe a couple other little things i would be happy to keep going to the Joe. plus where ever we end up going if we ever do leave we have to take our boards with us lol thats what the Joe is known for and is one of our advantages.

zettsyukwall415 likes this

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I love the feel of the Joe. It's small enough that practically every seat is a good seat. It has that old school feel to it, and like the above poster said, the moment you start climbing those steps you feel like you're at a hockey game. The biggest problem I have is the bathroom situation. You pretty much have to leave to go 5 minutes before the end of a period or else you'll be waiting 20 minutes in line.

I do wish there were more bars and restaurants right there that you could walk to right after a game. The Death Ride to Greektown on the Old Shillelagh bus is a nice compromise though, and it never gets old :banana:

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clap.gif haha too funny, must be something in the pizza eh

the pun wasn't actually intended, but actually.... haha

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A couple folks have mentioned they like the Joe due to its old school charm. Unfortunately all I see when I go there is "old".

homertime likes this

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So historic venues such as Fenway and Wrigley Field should be shut down as well too?

Old doesn't translate to historic you know...

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So historic venues such as Fenway and Wrigley Field should be shut down as well too?

Joe Louis Arena is uncomfortable, cramped, falling apart, lacks sufficient bathroom numbers (and the bathrooms they do have are disgusting and small), and when I walk into the Joe I feel like I'm walking into a concrete sarcophagus, not a historic arena. The Joe hardly has the charm that Fenway or Wrigley have. Implying otherwise is a bit laughable.

Even though I'm a fan of the Wings I can't pretend that JLA is some wonderful historic landmark that needs to be preserved.

Edited by Echolalia
weGotTheCup89 and homertime like this

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Hopefully the Red Wings will still be at the Joe when I make my first visit to Detroit. I've been planning a trip for over a year now, all that's missing is the ever elusive cash...

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So historic venues such as Fenway and Wrigley Field should be shut down as well too?

joe louis was finished in 79

...

60+ years after those venues were

homertime likes this

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i dont know all the numbers involved but r u trying to tell me mr. I, cant spring the cash for a new arena???

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Joe Louis Arena is uncomfortable, cramped, falling apart, lacks sufficient bathroom numbers (and the bathrooms they do have are disgusting and small), and when I walk into the Joe I feel like I'm walking into a concrete sarcophagus, not a historic arena. The Joe hardly has the charm that Fenway or Wrigley have. Implying otherwise is a bit laughable.

Even though I'm a fan of the Wings I can't pretend that JLA is some wonderful historic landmark that needs to be preserved.

Then don't go. More room for us. :P

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Eh, I'm just hoping Mr. I doesn't have to waste too much money renovating the JLA if it's going to be scrapped in a few years.. Kind of unrelated, but I was hoping the Joe closing would mean expansion for Cobo Hall to help Detroit retain the auto show. Does anyone know if closing the Joe would help that issue?

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I have no problem with the Joe. I'm fine with it for now.

I agree. While the Joe isn't a great arena (anymore), I don't see why it can't suffice until a new arena can be financed and built. It's not that bad...

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Then don't go. More room for us. :P

Don't worry, my poor post-college status keeps me from seeing more than one nosebleed seat in my pocket per year :)

Eh, I'm just hoping Mr. I doesn't have to waste too much money renovating the JLA if it's going to be scrapped in a few years.. Kind of unrelated, but I was hoping the Joe closing would mean expansion for Cobo Hall to help Detroit retain the auto show. Does anyone know if closing the Joe would help that issue?

Usually when talks of a new ice arena pop up, talks of expanding Cobo Hall follow shortly after. I imagine somebody somewhere wants to draw up blueprints and find funding for it, but the ball's in Illitch's court.

Edited by Echolalia

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The Joe works for now. The stale beer of the early 80's when they were the Detoilet Dead Things still lingers and the floors are stickier than a XXX theater (so I've been told sly.gif ) but I love that grey square-shaped mess next to the river. Its somewhat scenic during the playoff months and it will do the job for the next 4 or so years. Too many memories at that disgrace to just let it go. The atmosphere is pure hockey.

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Eh, I'm just hoping Mr. I doesn't have to waste too much money renovating the JLA if it's going to be scrapped in a few years.. Kind of unrelated, but I was hoping the Joe closing would mean expansion for Cobo Hall to help Detroit retain the auto show. Does anyone know if closing the Joe would help that issue?

Yeah, that was the idea (Cobo expansion). I guess the funding isn't there for ANYTHING at the moment. I haven't been home to Michigan in quite a while, but I can't imagine that much has improved.

I'm disappointed that they're signing a "multi-year" lease agreement. Ilitch's man Tom Wilson said this:

The city could renovate the Joe, but ... uh ... have you been to the Joe? It would be like fixing up a jalopy and hoping you could turn it into an aircraft carrier.

"You're not going to be able to close it down and in a year it's going to be a spectacular building," Wilson said.

So they're just going to keep everything as it is, because they can't have a brand new arena right now. I would have preferred to move the Wings up to the Palace of Auburn Hills for a year (play the preseason in Windsor, maybe), and renovated the Joe. Come on, its a mess. Lots of great memories there...but some "quick" temporary fixes should be done! Most here agree with me on three things...uncomfortable seating, poor lighting and dank conditions in the concourse and throughways (getting to the parking garage is like going through a dungeon!), and outdated (troughs?!?)/ inadequate restrooms. I'm sure you guys can come up with more things. But those seem to be the biggest issues with the Joe. Are you telling me that you couldn't take care of those issues with a year's worth of renovation????

Speaking of Windsor...and this is just a crazy, random idea...but if the City of Detroit cannot get its act together with the Cobo/Joe/new arena issue, what about Windsor? The Freep article briefly touched on moving to another market, which is never happening. But, how about taking them across the river? I know its not ideal, but lets assume it came down to either that, or moving them up to the Palace. Yeah, the border issues would be killer, but the new bridge project is going through the Michigan legislature. Maybe the NEXUS crossing program could help, too.

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Yeah, that was the idea (Cobo expansion). I guess the funding isn't there for ANYTHING at the moment. I haven't been home to Michigan in quite a while, but I can't imagine that much has improved.

I'm disappointed that they're signing a "multi-year" lease agreement. Ilitch's man Tom Wilson said this:

So they're just going to keep everything as it is, because they can't have a brand new arena right now. I would have preferred to move the Wings up to the Palace of Auburn Hills for a year (play the preseason in Windsor, maybe), and renovated the Joe. Come on, its a mess. Lots of great memories there...but some "quick" temporary fixes should be done! Most here agree with me on three things...uncomfortable seating, poor lighting and dank conditions in the concourse and throughways (getting to the parking garage is like going through a dungeon!), and outdated (troughs?!?)/ inadequate restrooms. I'm sure you guys can come up with more things. But those seem to be the biggest issues with the Joe. Are you telling me that you couldn't take care of those issues with a year's worth of renovation????

Speaking of Windsor...and this is just a crazy, random idea...but if the City of Detroit cannot get its act together with the Cobo/Joe/new arena issue, what about Windsor? The Freep article briefly touched on moving to another market, which is never happening. But, how about taking them across the river? I know its not ideal, but lets assume it came down to either that, or moving them up to the Palace. Yeah, the border issues would be killer, but the new bridge project is going through the Michigan legislature. Maybe the NEXUS crossing program could help, too.

I like that he used the phrases "aircraft carrier" and "spectacular building" when referencing a new arena. Hopefully that's a premise to what he envisions when they finally get around to putting a new building up.

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Like someone said in some other thread about this a while ago: When Crosby raised the cup there he cursed it. burn the f***** down.

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Eh, I'm just hoping Mr. I doesn't have to waste too much money renovating the JLA if it's going to be scrapped in a few years.. Kind of unrelated, but I was hoping the Joe closing would mean expansion for Cobo Hall to help Detroit retain the auto show. Does anyone know if closing the Joe would help that issue?

I've heard that if there's a new home for the Red Wings - the Joe will get demolished in order for a new Cobo Hall for the N.American Auto Show...Rumors are that the auto show could be moved to LA in the near future.

Usually when talks of a new ice arena pop up, talks of expanding Cobo Hall follow shortly after. I imagine somebody somewhere wants to draw up blueprints and find funding for it, but the ball's in Illitch's court.

Just as with a new home for the Red Wings - a brand new Cobo Hall is gonna cost millions that nobody seems to have, or is willing to part with.

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