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Exterior Panels Coming Off as Joe Louis Arena Demolition Continues

Joe Louis Arena

The demolition process of downtown Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena continues, as exterior panels are being removed from the shuttered venue.

Joe Louis Arena is currently be demolished, more than two years after it hosted its final Detroit Red Wings game. The arena is coming down through a gradual process, and one of the most visible steps in that effort is currently unfolding with the removal of exterior metal panels.

When that task is completed in the coming months, the parts of the arena that will remain standing are the roof, roof trusses, steel columns, and lower bowl. It is expected that the site of Joe Louis Arena will be cleared late this year or early in 2020. More from The Detroit News:

“It began last week and it’s scheduled to go for the next couple of months,” said Donna Rice, senior project manager for the Detroit Building Authority. “Once that’s done, then what will be left standing will be the roof, the roof trusses, the steel columns and only the lower bowl of the Joe.”

She said that’s when crews will go into the next stage of demolition.

Rice said that could start near the end of July or the beginning of August.

Joe Louis Arena originally opened in December 1979, and served as home to the Red Wings through the 2016-17 NHL season. Following the conclusion of that season, the Red Wings opened Little Caesars Arena, the downtown Detroit venue they share with the NBA’s Pistons.

Exact plans for the future of the Joe Louis Arena site, located along the Detroit River in the city’s downtown, 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 redevelopment plans for the site to the city by January.

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