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Joe Louis Arena Demolition Starts in Coming Weeks

Joe Louis Arena

The Joe Louis Arena demolition process will begin this spring, coming about two years after the venue hosted its final Detroit Red Wings game. 

Opening in December 1979, Joe Louis Arena served as home of the Red Wings through the 2016-17 NHL season. The club played its final home game there in April 2017 before opening Little Caesars Arena that fall, and artifacts such as seats, signage, and more were removed from Joe Louis Arena last spring in anticipation of the venerable facility being demolished.

The process of bringing the arena down is slated to begin in the next four to six weeks, with work expected to unfold over a period of months until wrapping up in either late 2019 or early 2020. More from the Detroit Free Press:

Demolition of the arena is expected to begin in the next four to six weeks and finish by the end of the year or early 2020, said Detroit Building Authority Director Tyrone Clifton.

There will be no Pontiac Silverdome-style implosion of the downtown riverfront arena, but rather a gradual disassembly process involving heavy machinery. Demolition crews will start by disassembling the arena’s interior, such as ceiling beams, then proceed to the exterior by June or July, Clifton said.

Detroit-based Adamo Group is doing the demolition under a $5.9 million contract with the city.

“So if you are just driving by or walking by, maybe you will hear it but you won’t see anything (at first) on the exterior coming down,” he said.

Exact plans for future uses of the site, located along the Detroit River in downtown Detroit, are unclear at this time. Financial Guaranty Insurance Co. (FGIC) secured future ownership and development rights to the site, doing so through a previous agreement with the city during Detroit’s 2013-14 municipal bankruptcy. FGIC must submit development plans for the site to the city by January.

RELATED STORIES: Joe Louis Arena Demolition Process to Begin by May 1Joe Louis Arena Future: Residential, RetailUpdate on Former Detroit-Area ArenasJoe Louis Arena Goes Out with a BangJoe Louis Arena’s Final Act

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