A small room at Joe Louis Arena (The Joe) was filled with journalism students from all over Michigan who came for the annual high school media day. The students waited for the first panelists of Detroit High School Media Day: Justin Rose, WXYZ-TV sports reporter, Michael Caples, Michigan Hockey editor and Dana Wakiji, editor of Detroitredwings.com.
Students sat intrigued as they learned that it would take hard work, determination and long stressful hours of working to be in the field of journalism. They listened as the speakers detailed the ins and outs of being a sports reporter for the Red Wings.
Students then got a tour of the press box and some discovered the joy of being a professional journalist. Finally, the group of about 75 got down to the ice. It’s the moment that most of the students were waiting for, seeing the Detroit Red Wings practice. The Red Wings practiced for the game against Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday, March 24 losing in overtime 2-1. This Red Wings team may be the first since 1990 not to make the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Since 2015 the Red Wings have been coached by Jeff Blashill. He coached at Western Michigan for the 2010-11 season before moving to assistant coach with the Red Wings under head coach Mike Babcock. Blashill then moved to head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, a minor league team that is affiliated with the Red Wings.
After talking to the head coach, students also got a first look at a large project coming to Detroit in the next few years.
According to District Detroit “There will be 50 blocks of thriving businesses, parks, restaurants, bars and event destinations. It will be home to the young and the young at heart, families, new residents and long-time residents who want to be where the action is.” These blocks will connect downtown and midtown.
“The Ilitch family has been buying properties around downtown for years,” said Craig Turnbull, senior VP of marketing and communications.
Mike Ilitch was the owner of the Red Wings and the Detroit Tigers. Ilitch the founder of Little Caesars Pizza, he passed earlier this year in February before he got to see the final construction of the Little Caesars Arena which will be the new home of the Red Wings and the Pistons. The Joe will be leveled and turned into a new hotel, residential and retail complex.
As the journalism students got to learn about what goes in the press box and the view that reporters get of the game, they also learned what goes on with planning to build a new arena and bring the city of Detroit back from bankruptcy.