A major milestone was reached for Little Caesars Arena on Thursday, when construction crews and team and local officials gathered for a topping off ceremony.
The last structural steel was placed at the arena, which is set to be the new home of the Detroit Red Wings. At over $600 million, Little Caesars Arena is expected to introduce some new amenities to the arena landscape, while also attracting adjacent development. Current plans slate for the construction of several neighborhoods around the arena that offer entertainment, residential, and office options in downtown Detroit. (We explored these components in detail as part of a recent preview.)
During the topping off ceremony, both those involved in the construction and Red Wings officials expressed their anticipation of the project’s completion. More from the Detroit Free Press:
One of those workers was Fred Sullivan of Inkster, a member of Ironworkers Local 25.
“I’ll tell you what it means. It’s a sense of accomplishment,” Sullivan said at the ceremony. “A year ago, it was a big hole in the ground. Right now, you can see the results a year later. It’s a sense of accomplishment.”
Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, thanked the workers.
“It’s great to be with all of our iron workers who play a critically important role in making sure that this incredible project comes to life,” he said. “The precision, the skill of these guys’ work is amazing. I look out my office window over there every day and see these guys crawling all over this thing to pull it together. It’s amazing.”
With a little over a year of construction work still ahead, Ilitch said he and his advisers haven’t decided yet which event will open the new arena. “Lots of possibilities and lots of options, lots of interest,” he said. The only thing penciled in for sure is the Detroit Red Wings home opener in October 2017.
The Red Wings will start their final season at Joe Louis Arena this fall.