Little Caesars Arena

The District Detroit, located along Woodward Avenue and the Cass Corridor in downtown Detroit, is a new sports and entertainment district. The new 650,000 SF arena is a state-of-the-art, 8-story professional hockey arena and home of the Detroit Red Wings. It doubles as the home of the NBA Detroit Pistons. With seating for 20,000+ spectators, the arena was built as a “bowl”, with the ice surface located 40 ft below street level. The Red Wings hit center ice in September of 2017.

The arena is connected to offices, retail, and restaurants by way of a unique glass roof – “The Via.”, forming an “indoor street” that serves as an open concourse as well as being a venue of its own. This district incorporates five distinct neighborhoods with new residential and apartment units, which is also served by the QLine light rail system.

Spalding DeDecker (SD) was chosen to provide construction layout for the following:

  • Arena
  • Buildings A, B, and C and surrounding areas
  • Parking Deck

The Challenge
With a project of this scope and complexity, the tasks and timelines had to be managed as precisely as the construction itself. As one of the largest projects in the city of Detroit, multiple contractors worked around the clock. The arena’s circular design, supported by trusses, demanded extremely tight tolerances and was one of many construction layout challenges SD faced.

The Solution
SD used a complex computer model – as well as good old fashioned experience – to ensure that each nut and bolt in every nook and cranny was perfectly placed. Having particular experience with large, curved glass panels and having established long-term relationships with many of the project’s contractors, this challenge fell right into SD’s “sweet spot”. Knowledge, technology, and people came together – and continued to work together – to ensure safety, style, and success.

The Impact
The Little Caesars Arena is a “transformational” project for the City of Detroit and southeastern Michigan. This area now links existing communities, creating a new heartbeat for a revitalizing city. Being a Detroit-based business, SD affirmed its commitment to the community by hiring Detroit residents to supplement the survey crews working on the project.