Joe Louis Arena

Could there be a better nickname for a hockey arena than Hockeytown? Probably not, and after all, Detroit is the epicenter for Michigan hockey and home to the Red Wings, one of the six original teams of the National Hockey League. Since 1979, the Red Wings have set up residence at Joe Louis Arena, and have won three of their 10 Stanley Cups there. Two of these three league championships were clinched at the Joe Louis Arena, named after the famed heavyweight boxer.

Although Joe Louis was born in Lafayette, Alabama, as a small child he moved to Michigan and would grow up in Detroit. As a teen, Louis worked for an ice company, crediting his upper body strength to the hard work. He started his professional boxing career in 1934 and soon became a popular American hero during an era when boxing was a more highly regarded part of the American fabric. From 1942-1945 he was enlisted in the U.S. Army and became an important spokesman for the cause, no doubt helping to cement his status as an American icon.

Joe Louis Arena sits along the Detroit River, at 600 Civic Center Drive and is one of the stops on the Detroit People Mover, one of the city's main forms of transportation. The People Mover is the only rail system for the city and runs a 3 mile loop around the downtown area, with stops at some of the city's main attractions. The popularity of Michigan Hockey makes Hocketytown one of those main attractions. Close to the arena are Detroit Michigan casinos, notable downtown Detroit hotels, and many things to do in Detroit. Joe Louis Arena seating totals out at 20,058, making it the largest indoor entertainment venue for the city. If you are in Detroit during hockey season, you might consider going to a Red Wings game if they are playing at home, as the arena has been rated the loudest in the league, and the atmosphere is electric. These fans love their team, and even if you aren't a hockey fan, it's a nice addition to your list of travel experiences. As the Joe Louis Arena seating capacity makes it a premier venue for the city, it also makes it the perfect candidate for hosting more than just Red Wings' games.

Another notable Joe Louis Arena event is The Great Lakes Invitational, a testatment to the popularity of Michigan hockey. The GLI, is a four team college hockey tournament and is one of the top holiday tournaments in the country, being held every year around Christmas time. The tournament is the result of three influential men in Michigan Hockey who thought that adding such a tournament would help boost the popularity of the sport and generate more American-born players. Michigan Tech is the traditional host of the tournament, and the University of Michigan was added as co-host in 1976. Rounding out the pack of Michigan hockey teams that plays every year in the tournament is Michigan State. Every year, a guest team is added from other states. Originally held at the old Olympia Stadium, it has been a top Joe Louis Arena event since 1979.

The Joe Louis Arena plays host to other Detroit Michigan events on top of hockey. When the circus is in town, it becomes another top Joe Louis Arena event, and other attractions include music concerts, ice shows, and other professional sporting matches. The venue can also be rented out for corporate events, fundraisers, ice-skating parties, and wedding receptions. You can even take a tour of the arena between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. every Wednesday and Friday, from September through March, making it a worthy stop on sporting fans Detroit itineraries. The tour includes the Alumni Room, Olympia Club, Media Lounge, Press Box, a Supersuite, and the Visiting Team's Locker Room. Children under 5 get in free and youth tickets are $3.00, with adult tickets selling for $6.00.

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