The Stanley Cup made an appearance at Little Caesars Arena today along with Detroit Red Wings alumni players from the 1997 championship team. Players and coaches visited with crew working to build the new arena and got a first-hand look at construction progress on the future home of the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons and the premier entertainment venue in the region.
The team—including players such as Nicklas Lidstrom, Vladimir Konstantinov, Kris Draper, Tomas Holmstrom, Darren McCarty, Vyacheslav Kozlov and others—toured along with former Detroit Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman, current General Manager Ken Holland and other Detroit Red Wings greats.
“That 1997 team, what a great hockey team,” said Draper. “That was the team that ended the Stanley Cup drought here in Detroit. To be able to walk in here and see what this is—it kind of felt like we were a part of this rink, which makes it really special.”
The group began their tour at The District Detroit Preview Center, where they had a chance to see the vision for the entire development that includes Little Caesars Arena and 50 blocks of new shops, offices and places to call home.
“I’m very impressed with The District Detroit,” said Lidstrom. “With Little Caesars Arena this is something completely different. It’ll be exciting to come back and see it when it’s all finished. You’ll have the arena with the Red Wings and the Pistons playing but with everything going up around it, this will really give the city a boost.”
At the construction site, players watched work underway, met with crew members, signed autographs and took photos with the hardworking men and women who are building Little Caesars Arena from the ground up.
Excavation is set to begin at the start of 2017 on the arena’s lowest level in preparation for ice-making piping and equipment; work is well underway on HVAC systems, plumbing and electrical installations; and crews are putting the finishing layers on the roof.
With nearly 950 construction workers on site daily, Little Caesars Arena is the largest and most exciting construction project underway in Detroit in many years. The crew is making amazing progress and the arena is on track to open this September.
The Michigan Made, Detroit Built project has awarded more than $345 million in contracts (60 percent) to Detroit businesses and more than $575 million in contracts (more than 90 percent) to Michigan businesses. Detroiters have worked close to 300,000 hours to help build the arena. More than 100 apprentices have spent time working on the site, learning and earning along the way.
The District Detroit will ultimately account for a total economic impact of more than $2 billion and create more than 12,500 construction and construction-related jobs in addition to 1,100 permanent jobs.
Check out the image gallery to see photos from the 1997 Detroit Red Wings tour of Little Caesars Arena.
About The District Detroit
The District Detroit is one of the largest sports and entertainment developments in the country. Located in the heart of Detroit, this 50-block, mixed-use development led by the Ilitch organization unites six world-class theaters, five neighborhoods and three professional sports venues in one vibrant, walkable destination for people who want to live, work and play in an exciting urban environment. Home to the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons and Detroit Lions - The District Detroit represents the greatest density of professional sports teams in one downtown core in the country.