Joe Louis Arena demolition continues, projected to be completed late summer
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What remains of a Detroit landmark will continue to disappear as construction carries on at the site of the Joe Louis Arena this month.
After serving as the home of the Detroit Red Wings for 38 seasons, the arena closed its doors to spectators in the summer of 2017. Demolition began in spring 2019 and involved two giant cranes with the names and jersey numbers of retired Detroit Red Wings greats Gordie Howe and Steve Yzerman.
Kevin Dimitry a Wings season ticket holder for years watches as construction crews take down some of the final parts of the Red Wings home Joe Louis Arena Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
Crews returned to the site May 11 to continue demolition work, including the disassembly of the truss, tearing down the east and west towers and preparing for underground demolition, which is slotted to begin within a few weeks, said Donna Rice, senior project manager from the Detroit Building Authority.
Demolition work was at a standstill in January to allow for electrical work near the property and for the arrival of specialized equipment from the West Coast that was needed to remove a major feature of the arena’s structure, according to a previous Free Press report.
Detroit City Council voted Nov. 5 to approve a redevelopment agreement for the site, including the nearby 3,200-space parking garage, with local developer Sterling Group.
Fans gathered in March to bid adieu to the arena as some of the last pieces of the structure came down during the gradual razing.
The company has not yet confirmed its future plans for the site, John Roach, a spokesman for the City of Detroit, said Wednesday. Crews are expected to begin demolition of the underground portion of the arena in the coming weeks and the project is expected to be complete later this summer near the end of July, barring any unforeseen conditions, Rice said.
Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press Published 6:00 a.m. ET May 21, 2020 | Updated 2:32 p.m. ET May 21, 2020
Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Pres