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Practice (Ice) Makes Perfect for Little Caesars Youth Hockey at New Arena

Organizers of the Little Caesars AAA Hockey Club and Amateur Hockey League recently had a chance to tour the underground practice ice facility inside Little Caesars Arena in The District Detroit. The new underground facility will serve as a warm-up and training area for the Detroit Red Wings players but also as the home for Little Caesars AAA Hockey Club and Little Caesars Amateur Hockey League to host tournaments, events and training on non-game days.

The amateur hockey programs have been closely associated with the Detroit Red Wings for many years and will join the team at the new arena when it opens in September 2017.

“It’s a major commitment,” said Kris Draper, former Detroit Red Wings player. “You just don’t see that in the NHL…it’s going to be state-of-the art for the Detroit Red Wings but also for Little Caesars Amateur Hockey as well.”

Construction of the practice ice facility is well underway as ironworkers have placed structural steel and precast concrete stadia underground in the southwest corner of the arena. Crane operators have lifted and placed 14 massive steel girders, each weighing nearly 60,000 pounds, to serve as a unique roof structure.

Just above the practice ice facility, workers have also begun pouring a large concrete surface, which will become the Piazza—an outdoor plaza adjacent to the arena featuring a massive video wall.

The Little Caesars AAA Hockey Club was established by the Ilitch family in 1968. The program has produced more than 100 National Hockey League players, including Brian Rafalski and Mike Modano, and collected 14 national championships. This season alone, the Little Caesars AAA program had nine teams in the 12 state finals, capturing a total of six state titles.

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The District Detroit will be made up of a dynamic mix of sports and entertainment venues, including six world-class theatres and three professional sports venues – home to the Detroit Red Wings, the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Lions. The District Detroit will also feature retail and residential developments, offices and hotels that connect these venues into one contiguous, walkable area, where families, sports fans, entrepreneurs, job seekers, entertainment lovers and others who crave a vibrant urban setting can connect with each other and the city they love. A Michigan-Made, Detroit-Built project, The District Detroit continues to transform lives by bringing jobs and opportunity to people and businesses across the city, region and state.

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