DETROIT (WWJ) – Workers who built the new Little Caesar’s Arena received a standing ovation before a ribbon cutting Tuesday — with many political and business professionals on hand for the event.
Calling it a new era in Detroit sports, Chris Ilitch CEO and president of Ilitch Holdings, spoke of the excitement of having four professional teams playing within four blocks of one another in “our downtown core.”
The arena initially was being built for the NHL’s Red Wings, but officials announced last year that the NBA’s Pistons would leave The Palace of Auburn Hills to also play home games next season in Detroit.
Sharing the stage with Ilitch was Gov. Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, and Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores.
“They dreamed of a bustling, lively Detroit like the one they experienced as young people and they took a chance on our city, at a time when others were moving out,” said Ilitch. “They invested here nearly thirty years ago –invested here again and again over the course of their careers.”
Mike Ilitch died in February.
Construction of the approximately $860 million – 20,000-plus seat arena began in spring 2015 — centered in District Detroit — a 50-block area that will include residential, business and retail stores.
Kid Rock will kick off the opening of the new home arena for the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons with four concerts; Sept. 12-13 and Sept. 15-16.