By Edward Cardenas
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – Crews working on the new home of the Detroit Red Wings have removed enough dirt to fill half of Joe Louis Arena as they dig the bowl for the Detroit Events Center bowl.READ MORE: Hispanic Heritage Month: Mexicantown Through Artist Eyes
In the first six weeks since excavation started on the project, more than 225,000 cubic yards of soil has been removed. Olympia Development officials estimate 480,000 cubic yards of dirt will be removed for the bowl of the new arena on Woodward.
“Seeing the transformation that is taking place on this critical stretch of Woodward Avenue is exciting,” said Steve Marquardt, Vice President of Olympia Development of Michigan, said in a release. “We are working hard to create one of the world’s premier urban environments, featuring a Detroit-fueled arena design that’s great for fans and visitors, a neighborhood-friendly profile and active shops, offices and public spaces. The District Detroit will be a connector for the great things that are happening in our city.”
By digging a deep hole for the arena bowl, those attending concerts, games and other events at the Event Center will be able to enter the arena’s concourse between upper and lower bowls at street-level and not have to take the stairs to reach the concourse.READ MORE: United Airlines Facing Record $1.9 Million Fine For Extended Delays
The deep bowl will also allow the facility to be 20 percent lower than typical arenas, officials said.
“The new arena will set the standard for the things that make a fan experience unforgettable: proximity to the action, sight lines, amenities and technology. Fans are going to love this newer, personalized experience – it will be a very exciting place to be,” said Tom Wilson, President of Olympia Entertainment, in a release. “Crews are hard at work on site, and we are making great progress on the arena bowl and the mixed-use buildings surrounding it.”
The next phase of work will include the placement of caissons, which will set the foundation of the Events Center. That work is expected to begin in July.
“This is a once in a lifetime project in our hometown, built with Detroit businesses and by Detroit labor. There is real energy, excitement and pride coming from the crews at the construction site who are working hard to remove soil and dig the bowl of the new events center. It’s a great feeling to be a part of the District Detroit project,” said Kerlin Blaise, owner of Blaze Construction.MORE NEWS: Ford Recalls Mustang Mach-E For Windshield, Sunroof Issues
Last week the Detroit Historic Commission voted 3-1 to tear down the vacant Park Avenue Hotel to build a high-capacity loading bay for the arena, located on the west side of Woodward Avenue, just north of I-75.