Howe about The Gord? Readers offer names for new arena

Adam Graham
The Detroit News
  • We asked readers to give naming ideas for the new Detroit Red Wings arena, and here’s what they said

If Detroiters have their way, they’ll soon be watching the Detroit Red Wings in a building named after Gordie Howe.

Last week we asked for your thoughts on what the new Detroit Red Wings arena should be called, and many of the more than 400 responses — submitted via Facebook and in online comments on the story — were built around the Red Wings legend and Hockey Hall of Famer.

One such suggestion — Howe’s Hockey House, offered up by Mike Golemba through Facebook — allows for a fun abbreviation: The Triple H.

Other suggestions included throwbacks to Olympia Stadium, which was home to the Wings before they moved to Joe Louis Arena, and many others hoped the new arena would still carry the Joe Louis Arena name.

“Use the original name: Joe Louis. Don’t fix what was not broke,” said Lorraine A. Minicilli, via Facebook.

Some suggested honoring those who helped foot the bill for the $600 million-plus construction.

“Taxpayer Stadium, after the people who pay for such things,” said Chuck Griffiths on Facebook.

Or there’s this, offered from Joe Orlando on Facebook: “Let’s call it Detroit Public Schools Arena. A reminder of where Detroit’s $300 million should have been spent.”

Other names honored Detroit businesses — including the Sander’s Bumptop Center (Facebook user Bliff Wiggins suggested a roof made to look like a Sanders Bumpy Cake, yum) or the Belle Tire Wheelhouse (thanks to R.J. Magiera for the suggestion) — and one proposed naming it after a phone number that, over the years, has been drilled into brains. “1-800-CALL-SAM Arena,” said Daniel Robert Coburn in the story’s comments section.

And then there was this bit of wisdom from reader Daddo Waddo (we’re guessing that’s not his real name), which takes into account the anger that will likely greet the new name when it is first announced. “No matter the name, we will all initially hate it (i.e The Palace of Auburn Hills, Comerica Park). But then it will grow on us and we will be fond of it! Let’s go Red Wings! #IllitchCenter!”

Well said, Daddo.

Here is a list of the top names for the arena, culled from our suggestions and yours. Venue officials say the name will be officially unveiled by early May.

Gordie Howe Fieldhouse, aka The Gord

He’s the most famous Red Wing of all-time, and one of hockey’s all-time greats. Few would argue with anything with Gordie Howe’s name in the title (although reader Wes Johnson offered a name honoring another Red Wing great with his suggestion, Yzerman Gardens). “It’s gotta be named after Mr. Hockey Gordie Howe!” said Brian Allan on Facebook, one of many echoing the Howe sentiment, while Jim Boudrie suggested “Howe’s Hockeytown Arena.”

Little Caesars Center, aka The Pepperoni Palace, The Oven, Arena! Arena!

A name chosen for the pizza chain Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch started in Garden City in 1959 seemed like a no-brainer to many, and it allows for a number of fun puns. A corporate-sponsored name seems somewhat inevitable, and cheesiness aside (and the cheesiness of that pun aside), something with Little Caesars in the title doesn’t seem quite so bad. “Have a hard time believing it becomes anything but Little Ceasar’s Arena,” reader John Evans said on Facebook. “As great as something like ‘The Gordie Howe Center’ would be, there’s too much money to be made in a naming deal. Can’t blame the Ilitches here.” Meanwhile, Lynda Summers McGee recommended “The Little Caesars Pizzarena,” while Adelle Whitefoot prefers “Pizza Pizza Palace.”

Hockeytown Arena, aka H-town

Many readers suggested playing off of Detroit’s Hockeytown monicker, or a name that takes into account the Red Wings and the team’s history. “The Wing Bowl” was what reader Paul Palamara came up with on Facebook, while Dwight Herdrich proposed “Octopus’s Garden,” which would honor the Red Wings tradition of throwing an octopus onto the ice during the playoffs. Good suggestions, all.

Motor City Arena, aka the MC

This suggestion comes from Dave Buczek on Facebook. “Although there are better names, I’m thinking Motor City Arena. Great way for the Ilitches to advertise their casino.” And yes, while it would technically be a corporate-sponsored name (for a casino, no less), it would pay homage to Detroit’s heritage as a car town. Other Detroit-honoring names to kick around: Detroit Rock City Arena (thank you Paul Ortiz, who offered that one via Facebook) and the Motown Forum.

The Faygodome, aka Red Pop Place

What’s more Detroit than Faygo? Since 1907, the soda company has been a Detroit staple, and it’s a corporate sponsorship everyone could get behind — especially the Insane Clown Posse and their army of Faygo-swilling fans, Juggalos. (Bonus points for being only one letter off from Fargo, North Dakota’s Fargodome.)

Better Made Bowl, aka The Chip

Better Made is another Detroit company that fans got behind. “Better Made Arena. Love those Detroit-made chips,” reader Walter Konarzevski suggested in the story’s comments section. We’re not arguing.

Kid Rock Coliseum, aka The Bawitdaba

An unlikely choice, sure. The K-I-D will just have to settle for playing what will likely be dozens of concerts there.

Lafayette Coney Island Gardens, aka The Coney, The Dog

OK, we came up with this one on our own, but can you blame us? Detroit’s Coney history is an important part of our town’s makeup, and this would cement Lafayette’s legacy forever.

Vernors Den, aka The Fizz

Another classic Detroit company (it dates back to 1866 and celebrates its 150th anniversary this year) that Red Wings fans could get behind.

Any other names? Keep them coming.

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