Company History

Olympia Entertainment’s roots date back to 1927, when the Olympia Sports Arena was built in downtown Detroit to accommodate Detroit’s NHL franchise, the Detroit Cougars, and serve as the premier venue for a variety of entertainment. Affectionately known as “The Old Barn,” Olympia Stadium opened its doors in October 1927 and hosted a wide variety of events including rodeos, ice shows, an Elvis Presley concert, Frank Sinatra concert, the Harlem Globetrotters, presidential addresses, and seven Stanley Cup winning Red Wings teams over its 72-year history. The Olympia Sports Arena closed its doors in 1979 and was demolished in 1986.


In 1982, Michael and Marian Ilitch purchased the Olympia Stadium Corporation, the management company for Olympia Stadium and renamed it Olympia Arenas, Inc. The newly purchased business was responsible for managing events at Joe Louis Arena (which had been completed in 1979 as the home of the Detroit Red Wings), Cobo Arena and the Glens Falls Civic Center. That same year, Mr. and Mrs. Ilitch purchased the Detroit Red Wings.

In 1987, the Ilitch family purchased Detroit’s iconic Fox Theatre (built in 1928) and renovated the 4,800+ seat venue, saving 80% of the original surfaces. In 1988, the Ilitch family re-opened the Fox and moved  Olympia Entertainment and Little Caesars Pizza headquarters into the building. In 1989, the National Parks Service designated the Fox Theatre as a National Landmark.

The Olympia Stadium Corporation was renamed Olympia Entertainment in 1996 to reflect the management company’s expanded operations and venues.

In April 2000, Comerica Park, the new home of the Detroit Tigers hosted Opening Day and ushered in a new era of MLB baseball in Detroit. The 41,000+ seat ballpark is owned by the Detroit-Wayne County Stadium Authority, and Olympia Entertainment operates Comerica Park.

Today, the Ilitch family is leading another groundbreaking project with The District Detroit. Located in the heart of the city, this 50-block, mixed-use development unites six world-class theaters, five neighborhoods and three professional sports venues in one vibrant, walkable destination for people who want to live, work and play in an exciting urban environment.

Home to the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons and Detroit Lions—The District Detroit represents the greatest density of professional sports teams in one downtown core in the country.

Little Caesars Arena, the cornerstone of The District Detroit, will open its doors in 2017. The new home of the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Pistons, as well other sports and entertainment events, concerts, family shows and community functions, will feature a dramatic arena bowl, proximity to the action and great sight lines. Rich with the tradition of the Original Six™ Detroit Red Wings, the Detroit Pistons and Detroit’s incredible musical heritage, Little Caesars Arena will also feature state-of-the-art technology and fan amenities. 

Olympia Entertainment Venue Facts

Fox Theatre

  • Opened: September 21, 1928
  • Re-opened: November 19, 1988 after Michael and Marian Ilitch bought and restored the theatre to its original splendor; saving 80 percent of the original surfaces.
  • Style: Siamese Byzantine (interior); Beaux Arts (exterior)
  • Features: The Fox Theatre was the crown jewel of Detroit’s theater district during the first quarter of the 20th Century playing host to some of the biggest names in show business and showing first-runs of some of the greatest films in history. The Fox Theatre has played host to some of the greatest names in entertainment including Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross. Designated a National Landmark in 1989, the Fox is the second largest surviving theatre (over 4,800 seats) in the nation and has the second largest functioning Wurlitzer organ.

City Theatre

  • Opened: September 15, 1993 as the Second City-Detroit
  • Reopened: October 6, 2004 as renamed City Theatre
  • Features: An intimate, 472-seat theatre with the atmosphere of a Broadway house.
  • First event (post renaming): October 6, 2004 “The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron”

Little Caesars Arena

Construction of Little Caesars Arena is on track for a September 2017 opening.

Exciting features of the new facility include:

  • A dramatic arena bowl incline with great sightlines that place fans closer to the action.
  • Increased pregame and postgame entertainment opportunities with expanded access to restaurants and gathering locations connected to The District Detroit – a new world-class sports and entertainment development revitalizing 50 blocks around the arena.
  • All-inclusive club spaces with enhanced luxury and amenities, parking and food and drink options.
  • State-of-the-art technology that includes WiFi capabilities with greater bandwidth, mobile ticketing, wayfinding, high-definition video, stunning acoustic sound and smart phone mobile applications that will take you from street to seat.
  • The “Via Concourse” - an indoor street-style shopping and dining experience surrounding the arena bowl that is highly activated on game nights and will be open to the community all year-round.
  • The “Plaza” – an outdoor urban plaza that will be regularly programmed with music and entertainment and serve as a signature new public gathering place in Detroit.

Affiliates

Little Caesars Pizza

LC LOGO.JPGLittle Caesars Pizza founders Michael and Marian Ilitch opened their first restaurant in Garden City, Michigan, in 1959. Little Caesars, the fastest growing pizza chain, built more stores in the world in 2009 than any other pizza brand and today is the largest carry-out chain globally with restaurants on five continents. Little Caesars is growing in prime markets across the country, and is offering strong franchisee candidates an opportunity for independence with a proven system. For the third year in a row, Little Caesars was named “Best Value in America”* of all quick-serve restaurant chains. In addition, Little Caesars offers strong brand awareness with one of the most recognized and appealing characters in the country, Little Caesar.

  • “Highest-Rated Chain – Value for the Money” based on a nationwide survey of quick-service restaurant consumers conducted by Sandelman & Associates, 2009

Detroit Red Wings

DRW Logo.jpgOne of the Original Six  franchises in the National Hockey League, the Detroit Red Wings have won more Stanley Cup Championships than any other American franchise. Purchased in 1982 by Mike and Marian Ilitch, the Red Wings have stood as one of professional sports' premier franchises with the most recent Cup victories in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008. The Red Wings play in front of sellout crowds of 20,000-plus fans at Joe Louis Arena in downtown Detroit. Visit us at www.detroitredwings.com.

Detroit Tigers

Tigers Logo.jpgIn 1992, Mike Ilitch purchased the Detroit Tigers, Detroit’s major league baseball team, which plays in Comerica Park. The ballpark is located directly across the street from the Fox Theatre. Comerica Park opened in 2000 to rave reviews. Sports Illustrated called Comerica Park a “brilliant ballpark”, among the top two or three in the country.

In 2005, the Detroit Tigers hosted the 76th All-Star game at Comerica Park. All-Star Week in Detroit produced the highest grossing revenue in the history of the All-Star Game. Comerica Park has also hosted numerous concerts and the 2006 World Series. Visit the Detroit Tigers website at www.detroittigers.com

Little Caesars Pizza Kits

Since its introduction in the Detroit area in 1997, Pizza Kits has become the “Hottest Fundraiser in America” for all types of nonprofit organizations. Pizza Kits contain all the ingredients to make delicious pizza at home. The Pizza Kit Program now offers a variety of family favorites: 9 Pizza Kits, 3 Breads, and 3 Specialty Items.

In Fall 2003, the Little Caesars Cookie Dough Program was launched with 8 great tasting varieties including: Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Raisin. 
Today, Little Caesars Fundraising Programs proudly helps raise millions of dollars for thousands of schools, churches, sports teams and nonprofit organizations throughout the continental United States. Visit us at www.pizzakit.com or call us toll free at 1-888-4-LC-KITS.

Hockeytown Cafe

hockeytown_cafelogo.jpgVoted the No. 2 sports bar in the country week after week by ESPN2’s Cold Pizza, Hockeytown Cafe is the hottest place to take part in the action before, during and after both Red Wings and Tigers games with live bands, great food and drink and the best view of Comerica Park in the Motor City! Visit us at www.hockeytowncafe.com.

Blue Line Foodservice Distribution

Blue Line Logo.jpgBlue Line Foodservice Distribution was established in 1971 in Farmington Hills, Mich. as a premier foodservice distribution company. With 14 distribution centers in North America and satellite locations within the U.S., the company distributes food and equipment to Little Caesars® stores as well as many other customers throughout the world. Through its West Coast centers, Blue Line provides exporting services to the Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Rim and other territories; through its East Coast centers support is provided to the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East and South America. Blue Line, with 700 employees, offers a single point of contact for product purchasing, replenishment, equipment, customer service and logistics. Learn more about Blue Line Foodservice Distribution at www.bluelinedist.com.

Champion Foods

logo-championfoods.jpgChampion Foods is a premier manufacturer of top quality private label and branded food products. Its specialty products are high quality packaged retail pizzas and breadsticks, par-baked pizza crusts and premium cookie dough. Champion Foods services many customers including major grocery retailers, foodservice distributors, restaurant chains and industrial toppers. Its experienced and professional staff makes dozens of products, any of which can be customized to specific customer needs at their state-of-the-art manufacturing research center located in Metro Detroit. Champion Food offers an expansive distribution network to ship throughout North America. www.championfoods.com

The Little Caesars Amateur Hockey League

Little Caesars Amateur Hockey League (LCAHL) is the nation’s largest amateur youth hockey league, involving teams from all over America’s Midwest — Michigan, Ohio and Indiana including Nashville, Tennessee — with more than 700 Travel and House Teams and over 11,000 players in 45 affiliated Associations.

Little Caesars AAA Hockey

logo-lc-aaa.jpgLittle Caesars AAA Hockey is one of the most recognized and respected organizations in amateur travel hockey. A cornerstone of the Midwest Elite Hockey League since 1968, the program has captured numerous state championships and tournament titles over its 30-plus year history. Mike and Marian Ilitch, owners of the Little Caesars Pizza chain, have been sponsoring amateur hockey teams since 1968 and are a major reason for the club’s success. Visit us at www.littlecaesarshockey.com.

Little Foxes Fine Gifts

LittleFoxesLogo.gifIn 1992, Little Foxes Fine Gifts opened its doors in Detroit’s Fox Theatre, offering customers a one-of-a-kind selection of fine china, exquisite crystal, and special gifts as well as personal shopping, gift-wrapping, and custom ordering for all occasions. Little Foxes continues its years of excellence in its new home inside Lacquer, the gift shop at MotorCity Casino Hotel. Come and see what it's all about. Visit us at www.motorcitycasino.com.

MotorCity Casino Hotel

MotorCity Logo.jpgMotorCity Casino Hotel has 400 rooms and suites. Dining options include Iridescence, Detroit’s only AAA Four Diamond Award-winning restaurant, Grand River Deli, and Assembly Line Buffet. With live entertainment nightly at Chromatics, Detroit’s only Radio Bar, Spectators sports bar to watch the game, and Amnesia, Detroit’s only ultra lounge, there’s something for everyone. For more information please visit www.motorcitycasino.com.

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