Not exactly the most inspiring name under the sun and perhaps a little too synergistic, but we have a name for the new Detroit Red Wings arena opening for the 2017-2018 NHL season: Little Caesars Arena.
It is, however, a naming-rights deal that will pay the bills: the 20-year agreement will average more than $6.25 million per year. 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 team says it’s the richest naming-rights deal for an NHL-only arena.
This is a case of one Ilitch company helping another. Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch made his fortune as founder of Little Caesars in 1959, a business venture launched after his professional-baseball career ended.
“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 is the centerpiece of The District Detroit, 50 square blocks of mixed-used development in the Woodward Square area. Besides Little Caesars Arena, The District Detroit includes more than 200,000 square feet of office and retail space.
Besides the Red Wings, Little Caesars Arena will feature other sporting events, entertainment acts, concerts, family shows and community functions. Highlighted in the arena’s public spaces: the tradition of the Original Six Detroit Red Wings, Detroit’s incredible musical heritage, state-of-the-art technology, active community spaces like a streetscape-inspired concourse, a Red Wings practice rink jointly used for youth hockey and an outdoor plaza with a massive video wall.