Nicknamed "The Joe'' and "JLA,'' Joe Louis Arena is a hockey arena and entertainment center located at 600 Civic Center Drive in Detroit, Michigan. The arena is named after former heavyweight-champion boxer, Joe Louis , a nativeof Detroit.
When the $57-million arena first opened in 1979, it was called "Joe Louis Warehouse,'' perhaps because it appeared so spacious inside. The arena's dimensions are 328' x 550' x 85' high, which gives it approximately 12 million cubic feet of space. Its seating capacity is 20,066 (including suites), and that number expands to 20,338 for end-stage concertsand 21,152 for center-stage concerts.
The arena's most noteworthy tenant is the National Hockey League's Detroit Red Wings, whose storied history includes 11 Stanley Cup championships and a consistent ranking from Financial World Magazine as one of the most valuable franchises in the NHL. As a tribute to that success and the passion of area fans, the city of Detroit has been dubbed "Hockeytown.''
A colorful local tradition involves tossing an octopus (proper hockey etiquette says it should be boiled with lemon and white wine) onto the ice at Red Wings playoff games for good luck. As the tradition, which began in 1952, goes, the octopus and its eight tentacles match the number of playoff wins originally needed for a championship. The unofficial mascot of the Red Wings is a purple octopus named "Al,'' and two of the mascots hang from the arena rafters, symbolizing the sixteen playoff wins now needed to win the Stanley Cup.
The arena is also home to a variety of entertainment events, such as the world-renowned Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus, the Tour of World Figure Skating Champions, The World's Toughest Rodeo, WWE professional wrestling, basketball games, and the college hockey championships.
In addition, the arena is often the stage for concerts by performers such as Janet Jackson, Luther Vandross, Luciano Pavoarotti, Alice Cooper, Metallica, Bob Seger, and Nickelback, to name a few. It also played host to the historic 1980 Republican National Convention, which saw Ronald Reagan receive his party's nomination on the road to becoming president.
The arena boasts eight dressing rooms, a 128-foot-long press area, an 18-foot-tall Sony Jumbotron video scoreboard, eight smaller computerized scoreboards, and facilities for live audio and video broadcasts. The arena also houses 86 premium suites, and, in 2008, introduced a 181-person private seating section, called the Comerica Bank Legend's Club, in the arena's southeast corner.
The City of Detroit owns the arena, which is operated by Olympia Entertainment, a subsidiary of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. Mike and Marian Ilitch own Little Caesars Pizza - which began in 1959 with Little Caesars Pizza Treat in Garden City, Michigan - as well as the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Tigers.
In recent years, a number of plans have emerged to replace the venerable arena, including proposals for the expansion of Cobo Hall that require JLA to be demolished. However, there is no firm plan for replacement or remodeling in place.
Read about other Detroit tourist attractions:
- Masonic Temple - Detroit, Michigan - largest Masonic temple in the world
- The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel - Detroit, Michigan - underwater border crossing into Canada from Michigan
- The Detroit Symphony Orchestra - Detroit, Michigan - fourth oldest symphony orchestra in the country
- Greektown Casino, Detroit, Michigan
Review, comment, or add new information about this topic:
Discuss this city on our hugely popular Michigan forum
|Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses|