DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The new home of the Detroit Red Wings has reached a construction milestone.

A ceremony took place Thursday to mark the placement of the final piece of structural steel for the roof of Little Caesars Arena. Olympia Development of Michigan says the piece of steel, in keeping with tradition, bears the signatures of the project’s ironworkers along with an American flag and an evergreen tree representing a job well done.

“I think it’s awesome,” iron worker Paul Peterson said.”I love Detroit, I love hockey, I love everything about iron work. This is a great time; this is a great place to be right now.”

WWJ’s Laura Bonnell reports the tradition of the topping out ceremony goes back about 1,000 years.

The arena is scheduled to open in 2017 after the Red Wings play a final season at Joe Louis Arena — part of an entertainment district being built north of downtown. Visitors won’t see the beam, but may spot a photo of the workers.

Mike and Marian Ilitch co-founded Little Caesars in 1959 and bought the Red Wings in 1982. Mike Ilitch bought the Detroit Tigers in 1992.

TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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