DETROIT (WJBK) - Today is a bittersweet day for some Red Wings fans. The team is getting set to play their final home opener at Joe Louis Arena Monday night.
The steps going up to the Gordie Howe entrance at the Joe Louis Arena have an incredible feel to them, and it's one that fans will only be able to get for one more season.
"The thing about buildings and arenas, stadiums, everything like that, it's not about the structure; it's about the memories. And everybody who walks in here has a memory of a moment that happened here - Stevie's goal or somebody carrying the cup around the ice - and you were her, or maybe it's a game your parents brought you to, or maybe it's a game you brought your kids to," says Tom Wilson, President, CEO of Olympia Entertainment . "There's something here that you'll take away from it, and that's what makes The Joe so special."
Wilson says tonight's game will have a red carpet entrance for the players to walk through a gauntlet of fans. Wilson says you can expect giveaways and other fun promotionals at games throughout the season. You can read more about those here.
Players will also wear a commemorative logo on their uniforms all season long. The logo has four stars under "Farewell Season" which represent one of the Stanley Cup Championships won by the Wings during their time at The Joe.
"We're going to celebrate this moment and then move onto even greater days," Wilson says.
The new arena, The Little Caesars Arena, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2017. The new arena is part of a broader entertainment district being built north of downtown.
The name is a nod to the pizza chain founded by Mike and Marian Ilitch, current owners of the Red Wings.
The venue will also host concerts and other events, including Wings' practice. The 20,000-seat arena will also include "gondola seating" suspended over the event level, a public plaza with a big video wall and ice for practice and amateur hockey.
Tonight's home opener is at 7:30 p.m. against the Ottawa Senators.