Is it just me or has anyone else had a hard time moving on from JLA to LCA? Recently I saw a video promoting a new documentary about Joe Louis Arena. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a tear or two form while watching the two minute promo. It’s that hard reality that has slapped us all in the face; our beloved team is in the era of transition and change and it is brutal.
It’s almost been exactly one year since the final Red Wings game at the Joe. How crazy is that?
This first year at LCA has been anything but impressive, team wise. Building wise, LCA is a state of the art facility that is a dream come true for sports fans. But, it’s no JLA.
I have yet to experience a game at LCA, I can only base my views on what I’ve seen on television or from other people’s experiences that they have shared with me. It’s no secret that this season, LCA has only been jammed packed a handful of times. Thanks to corporate seats, and high ticket prices, many sections of that lower bowl hasn’t been filled and thanks to our team being below average, no one wants to spend an arm, a leg and a kidney on a hockey game. Plus, the newness of LCA has had fans fall into a trance upon entrance. You’re greeted with images and items of the past, and new technology of the future. It’s easy to get lost in the moment and absorb everything LCA has to offer.
I know, I know. We cannot compare JLA to LCA, but it is incredibly difficult not to do so. The Joe was simply home.
I was extremely lucky to have had season tickets from 2013-2016. Before my first season of having season tickets in 2013, I had been to only four Wings games in my entire life, and those games I attended I was in my teens. I was 20 when my family became season ticket holders, and at the end of our last season of having tickets, I was 23 and I had racked up almost 50+ games attended at JLA in those three seasons.
Pretty awesome, right? I never took for granted being able to attend those games, but when I feel nostalgic, I can’t help but wish I could go back and just soak up one more moment at the Joe.
My favorite memories of the Joe, is when the Wings would win a nail biter. There was nothing like having the Wings win in overtime, everyone standing on edge and then bursting into cheers and hugs after the winning goal. Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” would echo through JLA and 20,000 Wings fans would sing along.
I know what you’re thinking, “once we get a new GM, head coach and new players, we’ll be fine”. While I agree with those points, if you’re a hockey fan, you will embrace this new chapter and start building memories to pass on the next generation of hockey lovers.
I mean, how did we all fall in love with JLA? It was the memories and stories that were created there. If you watch the clip of the promo for the Joe Louis Arena documentary, you will hear first hand that the players said that the Joe felt like it’s own person, the fans made it that way. We can’t we expect LCA to feel like home if we don’t embrace it.
My dream and hope is that in the seasons to come, once this newness of LCA wears off, Hockeytown can embrace this new era of Red Wings hockey and make LCA a true home. We will have to grin and bear a below average team, but our love for our team should never dwindle. We will always remember Joe Louis Arena, but we have to open our hearts to love LCA like we did JLA.