Little Caesars Arena: How Does it Compare?

The new Little Caesars Arena vs Joe Louis Arena

By Michael Waltz 

Little Caesars Arena in Detroit is the newest and second largest ice hockey arena in the world. It will not only be the new home for the Detroit Red Wings but also for the Pistons basketball team.

So how will it compare to Joe Louis Arena? Will it have the same feeling of excitement and intensity? Will we still be Hockeytown? These are questions many people are asking themselves.

Here’s my take on the new arena.

The first thing you see when walking up to the massive building is the all-glass roof that nowhere near resembles the all-concrete structure of the old Joe Louis. There are no steps leading up to the entrance at the new rink. Instead, there is an outdoor plaza.

A big open entertainment area that can hold concerts before or after games. Walking through the doors you get taken back on just how massive it actually is.

It feels more like a mini city, not a hockey rink.

Walking around the concourse, the small, cramped feeling that I was so used to in Joe Louis was no longer there. No matter where you look, flat screen TVs were scattered at every angle. Full blown restaurants, team stores, and every different type of food stands made it feel almost overwhelming.  

Walking up the steps to your seat, the first thing you see is the gigantic and seamless scoreboard that takes up almost all of your vision. The bright red seats are not ripped and falling apart as many people remember from Joe Louis.

During the national anthem, the entire ceiling, full of lights, turns into an American flag. Looking around, the seats stacked on top of each other so high making it feel like they are almost on top of the ice.

The first goal is scored. The same loud horn blasts and red light flashes both of which were a tradition expected to stay the same. The game was over and with a victory comes the famous song Don’t stop believin’ by Journey, with just about everyone in the crowd singing along as the team salutes the fans and skate off the ice.

Better seating, several restaurants, a separate practice rink, more entertainment options, and bigger everything are just a few of the countless upgrades that Little Caesars Arena has to offer.  Even though the Joe was a place full of amazing memories, a change in location will have little impact on the passion that goes along with the Detroit Red Wings team and their fans.