DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – Sunday night will be a final farewell at Joe Louis Arena. The Detroit Red Wings play their final game against the New Jersey Devils.
Over the years, the facility has hosted some major events; In July of 1980 during the Republican National Convention Ronald Reagan took the stage to accept the party nomination for president.
Ronald Reagan had pursued Gerald Ford as his running mate, but settled for George H.W. Bush. Reagan would beat incumbent President Jimmy Carter to start what was called the “Reagan Revolution.”
On February 5, 1980, Mr. Hockey himself, Gordie Howe, came home a few weeks shy of his 52nd birthday to play in the NHL all star game.
On August 2, 1980, a 21-year-old Thomas the “Hitman” Hearns captured the World Welterweight title. Hearns, unleashed a stunning barrage on Pipino Cuevas, then knocked him out with a pounding right to the head in the second round.
On January 6th, 1994 the Joe became the epi-center after the “whack heard round the world.”
Olympic skating champ Nancy Kerrigan was attacked in the hall way in a corridor at connecting Cobo-Hall and hit in the knee with a metal baton.
The incident turned out to be a story of vengeance and jealousy involving fellow ice-skater Tonya Harding.
On June 7, 1997, the Red Wings beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 to win the Stanley Cup, ending 42 years of frustration.
Helmets, gloves, sticks and pads went skyward and scattered all over the rink.
Over the years, the facility has hosted some memorable events.
February 3, 2006, Kid Rock took the stage and brought a special guest — Bob Seger — who was rarely seen and at 60 years old was introduced by Rock as “the king of Detroit rock city.”
They performed Seger’s ’70s hit “Rock and Roll Never Forgets.”
On January 2, 2007 – a sold-out crowd was on hand for the retirement of a very special jersey number; Steve Yzerman walked out to the tune “Simply the Best,” by Tina Turner.
Just before No. 19 went up, Yzerman told the fans: “You look up there, give yourself a pat on the back because I really feel you’re a huge reason, a big reason, why it’s up there. From the bottom of my heart, I am sincerely grateful to you all.”
You can listen to the final Red Wings game from the Joe right here on WWJ News Radio 950 – starting at 4:40 p.m.