Column: Little Caesers Arena a needed upgrade for Red Wings
With a new Detroit Red Wings’ season upon us, there comes a brand new arena with it. Little Caesars Arena made its official opening last month, but the new home of the Wings made its popular appearance during last week’s home opener.
Like most people, I did not buy my tickets the day they went on sale due to high demand and a big sellout. I bought my tickets the day of thanks to student rush and their cheap prices.
When the new arena was announced, many of the fans, including myself, were not too pleased to hear it because question that sprung up of what will happen to Joe Louis Arena? It is where a lot of fans like myself watched their favorite team in person for the first time and created a lot of memories.
Sure, Joe Louis Arena was special, but I think we can all agree that climbing up the crooked stairs, sharing a concourse with both levels of the arena, and barely seeing the replays on the jumbotron could have used a nice upgrade.
Walking into Little Caesars Arena for the first time was completely different from the Joe, and is nothing like other arenas.
I have been to six NHL arenas, and I can say that Little Caesars will beat all of them by a landslide. I have never seen anything like it before and can now say it’s my new favorite place in downtown Detroit.
One of my favorite features of the new arena is, for sure, the giant jumbotron that hangs perfectly above center ice, scoring every single play beautifully. No squinting your eyes or trying to adjust your body of trying to see it either.
The atmosphere of fans walking around the arena absorbing the new energy within the building, everyone taking pictures of all the new murals of ones like Gordie Howe or the sign of Olympia Stadium is what makes this stadium iconic to me.
For me, I ended up paying $30 to sit in Mezzanine level at center ice, which is a section right between the 100 and 200 level and saw every aspect of the game and the view of the stadium. With it being the home opener, I could of been the highest part of the arena or somehow in standing room, but being able to be apart of the first home opener at the new arena is something special.
Witnessing the first goal scored ever scored in the arena by Anthony Mantha or having Jimmy Howard get his 200th win as a Red Wings goaltender is something truly remarkable in a new era of Red Wings hockey. Yes, they did not make the playoffs last season or fans disagreed with Ken Holland’s decision making during the offseason, but their team will truly make something out of it for the first season at Little Caesars. New traditions can begin.
I think this can help the team attract more players in coming with new updates and features with a practice facility under the regular ice of the arena. It will help this city welcome fans from all others to see what their teams could model after.
Even though the Detroit Pistons play there as well, it will always be home to the Detroit Red Wings to me. This can help the city of Detroit thrive in making it the hustling city it used to be.
The Joe will always have a special place in my heart as I saw my first ever hockey game there back in 2011, made friendships and many memories that I will never forget. I always felt I took a step back in time whenever I walked around the concourse seeing different Red Wings murals and sat in the old, torn up seats, but it is now time to move on.
This is a time to start new memories, start fresh and hope that the Wings can make even more history here as they did back in the Joe. Will it ever feel the same? No, but it will bring in new fans and hopefully a season that people will never forget.