Nov 4, 2015


Detroit – November 4, 2015 – As construction moves forward on the site of the new Detroit Events Center, Olympia Entertainment today announced plans for significant fan and community enhancements to the facility. This additional investment will create a more dynamic, multi-use facility for the community, a more interactive experience for fans and additional public spaces for everyone to enjoy throughout the year.

“These enhancements will ensure we create a unique multi-use venue that brings the best in sports and entertainment to Detroit, while creating a destination for everyone in our community to enjoy,” said Tom Wilson, President and CEO of Olympia Entertainment. “We’re completely focused on delivering an arena that hosts exceptional experiences for our community, players, fans and neighbors while driving additional investment and development in Detroit.”

Enhancements include:

Dynamic fan experiences, like enhanced video and sound capabilities for a more immersive experience, creative food-service options, a “skin” on the outside of the arena bowl that can display video and graphics, additional elevators and improved seating options – such as gondola seating suspended over the event level – that create unique, memorable experiences.
Active community spaces like on-site practice ice, which will also be used for amateur hockey; an outdoor plaza featuring a massive video wall – along with more green spaces across the arena site – that will be regularly programmed with music and entertainment.

Operational improvements such as additional points of sale, best-in-class security systems and augmented load-in, load-out systems that will attract the best in sports and entertainment.

“Our organization is committed to stepping up and making the new Detroit arena special for everyone in Detroit,” continued Wilson. “With this additional $95 million in privately funded enhancements, we know that we will deliver a world-class venue that our community will be proud of.”

Construction Progress and Project Benefits

Mass excavation and deep foundations are complete on the site of the new Detroit arena. The majority of work on site currently is concrete-related, with 7,000 cubic yards having been poured already for foundation walls and elevator shafts. The erection of structural steel for the arena has also begun.

More than 54 percent of the workers on site to date have been Detroiters, including numerous apprentices. Of more than $202 million in contract awards for the arena so far, more than $138 million – or 68 percent – have been awarded to Detroit-based or –headquartered businesses. More than $190 million – or 94 percent – of contracts awarded have been to Michigan-based companies.

Since the project was announced last year, Olympia Development outreach efforts have resulted in 13,000 residents registering with Detroit Employment Solutions to access jobs, training and education resources for continued career development. Additionally, the Ilitch organization has completed the first year of its Cass Tech internship program, offering Cass Tech students unique learning experiences at a variety of Ilitch companies. In partnership with Woodside Bible Church, the Ilitch organization has also adopted Cass Park and begun its ongoing maintenance. Finally, the organization has also announced an aggressive target of 20 percent affordable housing throughout The District Detroit, including the renovation of the Hotel Eddystone.