DETROIT, MICH -- The rumors have been confirmed. We have a name for the new arena which will be home to our beloved Detroit Red Wings.
Are you ready?
I asked if you were ready.
Okay, don't care. Here we go:
Little Caesars Arena
There you have it. What we have been joking about for so long is now a reality. I can't say it's completely surprising, but the fact that this is a 20-year deal worth $120 million is a bit strange seeing that the Illitch family owns Little Caesars, and the Red Wings.
I don't like it. It's a tacky, lame name for what is to be a complete state-of-the-art facility. It is what it is, but I was hoping for a better corporation for the arena to be partnered with, mainly because everyone will see it as a pizza brand.
I do like it in one regard - Little Caesars has been an icon for youth hockey development in Michigan for a very, very long time. The Little Caesars AAA Hockey Club is responsible for players like Mike Modano, Derian Hatcher, David Legwand, and countless others. I guess that's cool.
The Red Wings new arena is called Little Caesars Arena. pic.twitter.com/oYRnWwyYGM— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) April 28, 2016
Red Wings got a 20-year, over $120 million deal with naming rights, Tom Wilson says.— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) April 28, 2016
New Red Wings arena has 9,000 seats in the lower bowl for hockey. 11,000 in lower bowl for basketball.— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) April 28, 2016
Here is the full press release, if you care to read it:
Olympia Entertainment and Little Caesars today announced a naming rights partnership establishing Little Caesars Arena as the name of Detroit’s new, 20,000+ seat downtown arena. The new Little Caesars Arena will serve as home of the Detroit Red Wings NHL franchise and countless other sports, entertainment and community events.
Naming Rights to Provide International Visibility for Rapidly Growing, Global Brand
The 20-year naming rights agreement averaging more than $6.25 million per year paves the way for Little Caesars Arena branding on the roof of the arena, on the exterior, at entrances and at center ice, among other opportunities. In addition, Little Caesars will become the official Detroit Red Wings Web site and social media presenting sponsor starting with the 2017-18 NHL season. The agreement is estimated to be the largest investment in a naming sponsorship for a building whose sole professional sport is hockey.
"Little Caesars has experienced incredible growth over the last decade," said David Scrivano, president and CEO of Little Caesars. "We were founded in the Detroit area 57 years ago as a family company and grew to become the world's largest carryout-only pizza chain from right here in the city.
As we continue to add stores in more countries across the globe, and as we prepare to expand our world headquarters campus right here in The District Detroit to accommodate our growth, now is the perfect time to sign on as a naming rights partner for what is going to be one of the world's premier sports and entertainment destinations. This sponsorship will give us broader visibility than we've ever had before, and we couldn't be more excited about this amazing investment in our brand, right down the street from our headquarters campus in the city we love."
Little Caesars is the world’s largest carry-out pizza chain and fastest growing pizza chain in America with stores in all 50 United States and 18 international markets. Its famed HOT-N-READY® pizza revolutionized the quick-service industry, offering consumers an unprecedented level of convenience and quality, and is one of many Little Caesars innovations that have transformed the pizza industry since the company was founded by Mike and Marian Ilitch in 1959.
Little Caesars Brand Tied to Storied Red Wings Hockey Franchise and World-Class, Innovative Arena
Little Caesars joins a growing list of sponsors for the new Detroit arena, including Landmark Sponsors Comerica Bank, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System and Meijer, Inc.
"We’ve experienced an incredible response from our fans, our partners and the community as the vision for this new facility and The District Detroit have begun to come to life," said Tom Wilson, president and CEO of Olympia Entertainment, the sports and entertainment organization that oversees business operations for the Detroit Red Wings. "There’s been quite the buzz about what company would have its brand aligned with this best-in-class facility and the storied Detroit Red Wings franchise, and we know that Little Caesars is the perfect fit for this arena and everything it represents for our hockey club, our organization, this community and our great city."
Little Caesars Arena will feature a dramatic arena bowl, proximity to the action and great sight lines for sporting events, entertainment acts, concerts, family shows and community functions. Rich with the tradition of the Original Six Detroit Red Wings and Detroit’s incredible musical heritage, the arena will also feature state-of-the-art technology, fan amenities geared toward creating memorable experiences, innovations throughout, and active community spaces like a streetscape-inspired concourse, a Red Wings practice rink jointly used for youth hockey – including Little Caesars storied youth hockey program – and an outdoor plaza with a massive video wall.
Little Caesars Arena and The District Detroit a Key to Fueling Detroit’s Resurgence
Little Caesars Arena and the accompanying 50 square blocks of mixed-used development in The District Detroit represent a transformative project adding to the positive momentum already underway in Detroit’s redevelopment. Construction on the Little Caesars Arena in The District Detroit’s Woodward Square neighborhood is on schedule, with completion expected in the fall of 2017, prior to the NHL hockey season. With substantial progress since the start of heavy construction on both the new Little Caesars Arena and more than 200,000 square feet of office and retail space immediately surrounding it, there are an estimated 400 workers on the site daily, including 40+ Detroit-resident apprentices.
"This sponsorship is another major investment by the Ilitch companies in Detroit, its great people and its comeback story. It’s a proud day for Little Caesars, the Detroit Red Wings, our community, and for my parents Mike and Marian Ilitch," said Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. "To have their first business as the namesake of this building in their beloved hometown is an amazing tribute to their careers and their love for the people here.
They decided decades ago that they would do everything they could to contribute to Detroit’s resurgence. Beginning with the renovation of the historic Fox Theatre and their relocation of Little Caesars headquarters to Detroit, their vision was to create a bustling, live, work and play sports and entertainment district. This is exactly what we're building here with The District Detroit and Little Caesars Arena."
A third party analysis has estimated that The District Detroit will generate $2.1 billion in economic impact for the city, region and state of Michigan. Since the project was launched, the focus has been on creating a Michigan Made, Detroit Built sports and entertainment district. To date, $416 million in contracts (92% of contracts) have been awarded to Michigan-based organizations and $298 million (66% of contracts) to Detroit-based and -headquartered businesses. In addition, Detroit residents have logged over 129,000 work hours on the site.
High-resolution renderings of Little Caesars Arena and the Little Caesars Arena logo can be downloaded at DistrictDetroit.com or LittleCaesars.com. More information about The District Detroit and 24/7 live streaming footage of the Little Caesars Arena construction site is also available at DistrictDetroit.com.
About Little Caesars Pizza
Little Caesars Pizza, known for its HOT-N-READY® pizza and famed Crazy Bread®, is the largest carry-out pizza chain and fastest growing pizza chain in America*. Named "Best Value in America"** for the ninth year in a row, Little Caesars products are made with quality ingredients, like fresh, never frozen, mozzarella and Muenster cheese, dough made fresh daily in the stores and sauce made from fresh-packed, vine-ripened California crushed tomatoes.
For franchisee candidates, Little Caesars is rapidly expanding in markets throughout the world, providing an opportunity for entrepreneurial independence in a franchise system. In addition, Little Caesars offers strong brand awareness with one of the most recognized and appealing characters in the country, Little Caesar.
About The District Detroit
The District Detroit will be made up of a dynamic mix of sports and entertainment venues, including six world-class theatres and three multi-use sports venues – home to the Detroit Red Wings, the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Lions. The District Detroit will also feature residential, office and retail developments 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.
Construction of the arena and surrounding District is expected to generate at least $2.1 billion in total economic impact, 12,500 construction and construction-related jobs and 1,100 permanent jobs. More than $100 million in income from the Little Caesars Arena project alone is expected for Detroit residents, with significant additional income to be created through future private development.
About Olympia Entertainment
Olympia Entertainment, a Detroit-based company owned by entrepreneurs Mike and Marian Ilitch, is one of the country’s most diverse sports and entertainment companies and the largest organization of its kind in the Midwest. The company owns and operates Detroit’s Fox Theatre, the intimate City Theatre and also books and operates Joe Louis Arena and books Comerica Park. Olympia Entertainment also handles business operations for the Detroit Red Wings, an Original Six member of the National Hockey League and collaborates with the Detroit Tigers baseball franchise and other Ilitch companies. Other Ilitch companies include: Ilitch Holdings, Inc., Little Caesars Pizza, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Champion Foods, the Detroit Red Wings, Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program and Olympia Development. Additionally, Mike Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers, and Marian Ilitch owns MotorCity Casino Hotel.