An official agreement with the city of Detroit has not been worked out yet, but the Associated Press is reporting that the Red Wings will play at Joe Louis Arena this upcoming season. That's not exactly breaking news or anything since it was pretty obvious (to me, at least) that they wouldn't be playing anywhere else, but this is official confirmation.
Ilitch Holdings Inc. spokeswoman Jennifer Haselhuhn confirmed the plans Monday after the team's owner Mike Ilitch announced that he is interested in buying the NBA's Detroit Pistons in part to make sure the Pistons don't leave town.
Haselhuhn says talks continue with the city about a new agreement for Joe Louis Arena, which opened in 1979.
Although the Red Wings will be back at the Joe for sure next season, there is still speculation that they could move to the Palace in the future while a new arena is being built in downtown Detroit. That speculation makes sense considering Ilitch could own the Palace come this time next year, but Jimmy Devellano confirmed that the only different arena the Red Wings will be playing in is a brand new one in Detroit.
"The Ilitch family's commitment to downtown Detroit has been pretty clear," said Devellano, citing the construction of Comerica Park and Foxtown, and success with the Wings in downtown Detroit.
"Joe Louis Arena is still a very functional building" and can be used until the Wings ultimately have a new arena.
If Ilitch does in fact buy Palace Sports & Entertainment, it will only be a matter of time until a new arena is built in Detroit. That way he could give the Red Wings a new home, replacing the aging Joe Louis Arena, and he could move the Pistons to downtown Detroit.