I’ve been holding off on writing about this with the hope that this was a joke.
Alas, three days after the announcement, I have to accept the fact that that the Detroit Red Wings new home will in fact be named the Little Caesers Arena.
Olympia Entertainment, alongside Little Caesars, made the announcement on Thursday morning. The naming agreement was a 20-year, $125 million deal.
Chris Illitch, president and CEO of Illitch Holdings, said the naming rights deal, which will amount to above $6 million a year, is the largest in the country for a professional stadium.
However, Illitch also said during his brief speech that, this was “more than just about money.”
“This is our hometown. This is a legacy business,” said Illitch.
This “legacy business” will now have some of the best advertising opportunities in the country.
The largest Little Caesars logo ever will be branded on the roof of the arena. The logo will also be found on center ice, at the entrances and on the exterior of the arena.
Though the front office may find their chosen name to be the best option, fans aren’t thrilled.
Both petitions, though different in their name ideas, seemed to agree that the “Little Caesars Arena” was not an appropriate name for the legendary team and Detroit’s Hockeytown legacy.
With fans understandably unenthusiastic about the name, I feel the need to speak up on the matter.
Journalists aren’t supposed to have an opinion when they write, but as a lifelong Detroit Red Wings fan, I think I am entitled to bypass that for this.
I am extremely disappointed in Olympia Entertainment and the Illitch’s.
I get that the Illitch’s own both the Red Wings and Little Caesars so keeping it in the family as well as choosing a Detroit-based company probably seemed ideal, but the name chosen is both disrespectful to the history of the team and to the lifelong fans of the Red Wings.
The name is completely tacky and undeserving of an Original Six team who has contributed so much to the sport.
The arena should have been named something that held some power and meaning, the way the Joe Louis Arena did.
Moreover, the Detroit Red Wings have some of the most passionate and loyal fans in hockey. These fans have stuck by their team through everything, including a 42-year Stanley Cup drought. To not think of them and how they would feel about the name is an insult.
The Detroit Red Wings and its fans deserved better than this.