DETROIT (WWJ) — The first of many farewell events for Joe Louis Arena kicked off Saturday morning as thousands of runners and walkers crossed the finish line of the first-ever Hockeytown 5K.
Just about all 6,000 racers wore red Hockeytown t-shirts or Detroit Red Wings gear as they finished the race where the center ice line will lie when the hockey season opens up in October.
Red Wings players and alumni met with fans as they made their way to the arena — defenseman Danny DeKeyser greeted runners at the finish line.
The arena is entering its final season as the home of the Red Wings, as the team will move north of I-75 to the currently-under-construction Little Caesars Arena for the 2017-2018 season.
The Joe means a lot to fans of the team, some not ready to see it go.
“I’m not that excited, I wish they’d keep the Joe, but I’ve been coming to the Joe since I was about eight years old with my family — now I’m 38, so 30 years,” Todd Kluba of Fenton, Michigan told WWJ Newsradio 950. “And I don’t like the new name for the new stadium. Mike Ilitch if you can hear me, you might want to change that.”
Runners had opportunities to take photos with the many championship banners that are a staple in the arena’s rafters.
Tickets are still available for the Red Wings’ 41-game home schedule during the Farewell season. For more information, click HERE.