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Exclusive: Inside the Practice Ice at Little Caesars Arena

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We can imagine hockey played here

All photos courtesy of The District Detroit

If you’ve been anywhere near Midtown, Downtown, or Comerica Park lately, you know the Little Caesars Arena (we’ll try to get used to calling it that) is gearing up for its 2017 opening. Curbed Detroit was able to snag some exclusive pics from The District Detroit, along with some info about the surrounding buildings, to tide us over for the summer.

The District Detroit

One aspect we haven’t heard a lot about are the retail spaces around the arena. So far,

  • Structural steel for the new retail and office building along Woodward is visible from Woodward.
  • Foundations and elevator shafts are underway for the new retail and office building along Henry and steel will start soon.
  • The Woodward-facing and Henry Street facing buildings are both four stories and the foundation piers for both are 100% completed:

Woodward will have over 28,000 square feet of retail

Henry Street will have over 15,000 square feet of retail

  • The Via will connect these buildings to the arena bowl and will be 61,000 square feet for year-round shopping.
The District Detroit
The District Detroit
The District Detroit
The District Detroit

In addition,

  • Precast concrete continues on parking garage, and the work is visible from Cass.
  • Masonry, drywall, utilities, and HVAC are underway in many locations.
  • The apparatus for ice is going in at the practice ice, precast concrete is already in, as shown in the photos (below).
  • Precast "stadia" is going in in the lower bowl and is already in place in the upper bowl. Seats will be fastened to this precast stadia.
  • Most of the concrete slab is poured on the piazza above the practice ice, west of the arena.
  • Practice ice is getting pipes and insulation, and the concrete for seats is already in place.
  • Olympia Development has awarded more than $300 million to Detroit companies and nearly $500 million to Michigan companies to build Little Caesars Arena and the surrounding buildings.

Here are a few more pictures inside the practice ice. It isn't just for the Red Wings; it'll also be the home for the Little Caesars AAA Hockey Club.

Released at the end of May, here’s a short tour through the practice ice and what it will be for the youth who get to practice there.