Hockeytown says goodbye to Joe Louis Arena

April 9, 2017, marked the final game played at Joe Louis Arena.

The final game, which was treated more like a party than a farewell, brought a 4-1 Detroit Red Wings’ victory over the New Jersey Devils.

Late owner Mike Ilitch bought the franchise in 1982, and has owned almost every team since the Joe opened in 1979.

The franchise is still run by the Illitch family, which has brought so many memories and happiness to one arena.

As of 2016, the Red Wings have won the most Stanley Cup championships of any NHL franchise based in the United States.

The most memorable tradition in Hockeytown is throwing an octopus onto the ice after Red Wings goals in playoff games.

“Playoff games are my absolute favorite,” said Jennifer Grzywinski, an MCCC student and Red wing fanatic.

“There was always just an intense excitement in the Joe. Regardless of the score, everyone was full of life.”

The octopus symbolized the eight victories needed to win the Stanley Cup when the tradition began in 1952. This ritual has been a fixture of the Arena since its opening in 1979.

There is plenty of speculation as to what may become of the ritual when the Red Wings move to their new home.

“Well, since it will be named The Little Caesars’ Arena, I think only pizza slices being thrown would suffice,” MCCC alumnus Kate Harley joked.

From the flawless ice to the atmosphere, we all looked forward to games at “The Joe.” Though it is tough to move on from something beloved by generations of Hockeytown fans, the future is looking promising.

Scheduled to open in September 2017, the new arena is expected to cost $732.6 million to construct.

The future home will be known as The Little Caesars’ Arena. It was an intensely-argued title for the hockey arena.

The arena will be apart of the District Detroit, which will be 50 blocks of businesses that will connect Downtown and Midtown into one contiguous, walkable area.

Die hard fans will continue to follow the Red Wings’ legacy, wherever it leads.

“Whenever the team is, where ever the game is being played, and whatever the name is called, the Detroit Red Wings will always be recognized for the phenomenal athletes and heart,” MCCC student Cody Briscoe said.

It is clear we can rest easy knowing the future is bright for our Detroit Red Wings.