I'm having much confusion with identifying the history of the venues in downtown Detroit, Michigan. What was known as "Cobo Hall" at the time was built in 1960. Currently, what is at the site is known as "Cobo Center." This site has been upgraded and renovated several times throughout the years.

Some websites, such as this one, state that Cobo Hall and Cobo Arena were both built adjacent to each other in 1960. The caption for this 2003 photo states that it shows Cobo Hall and Cobo Arena standing next to each other.

enter image description here image source: Detroit Free Press

At some point (I believe 1979) there was built the Joe Louis Arena adjacent to the center. Several websites indicate that the Joe Louis Arena has been closed for several years. Some also say that Cobo Arena has been closed for several years.

This site from 2012 talks about the beginning of demolition of Cobo Arena.

This site from February 2018 talks about the impending demolition of Joe Louis Arena.

The website for Cobo Center does not contain any mention of an arena, but shows several spaces marked as Hall A, B, C and D inside the center.

enter image description here

Google maps has indications marking Cobo Center and Joe Louis Arena.

enter image description here

My question is this: Was there, or is there a structure known as "Cobo Arena?" If so, where exactly is/was it. When things say they occurred at Cobo Hall, such as the recording of the 1974 Kiss album Alive! in which space did they occur?

  • 1
    In case you were curious like I was, the recorded concert mentioned in this answer is not the same one the protagonists of Detroit Rock City were trying to get into. That movie (which I have a completely unreasonable affection for) was set about 3 years later. However, it is the same venue (although in the movie its part was being played by Copps Coliseum in Ontario) – T.E.D. May 17 '18 at 19:33

According to Wikipedia, what was the Cobo Arena is now the Grand Riverview Ballroom which is the round building on the right of the google maps image. It's a separate building from the Joe Louis Arena (which is on the left, as marked).

  • Somehow I misread that on the Wiki page. So it was not completely demolished, just repurposed. – Tom May 17 '18 at 21:01
  • A fascinating tidbit from Wiki: "In January 1994, Cobo Arena was the scene of the attack on Nancy Kerrigan. The incident took place in a corridor at Cobo Arena, which was the practice rink for the US Championships which were held in the adjacent Joe Louis Arena." – Michael Seifert May 17 '18 at 22:05
  • Cobo Arena was also where the Detroit Pistions of the NBA played (beginning in 1962?) prior to the Pontiac Silverdome (home of the Detroit Lions of the NFL) being built. Pistons moved there in 1978. I lived in Detroit during this time and went there many times. – Matt Balent May 18 '18 at 17:13

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