Hundreds of venues I’ve attended, thousands of games and I doubt I’ll ever see another promotion like this again. Entire rows of people, not a couple fans here and there, but entire rows received free Little Caesar’s Pizza. Not just pieces of pizza, but an entire, whole pizza! Yes, whole rows of people getting whole pizzas, every period of a hockey game.
Indeed I saw it thrice.
Now that’s brand awareness, and it’s brilliant. It’s been a week now since I witnessed this publicity stunt, and here we are a week later, and I’m still talking about it. Not just talking about it, but leading my “Saying Farewell to The Joe as the Detroit Red Wings move on a new home write-up.”
It certainly made me more aware of the forthcoming Little Caesar’s Arena, which will be adjacent to the Detroit Tigers’ Comerica Park and the Detroit Lions Ford Field. Construction began on April 24, 2015 following a formal groundbreaking ceremony on September 25, 2014. The new arena, which will cost $627 million to construct, will succeed Joe Louis Arena as the home of Wings hockey.
Little Caesar’s can certainly afford to give away hundreds of pizzas every hockey game; they have very deep pockets. The Ilitich family owns the pizza chain, the Tigers and the Red Wings. They also have a prominent family member in an important leadership position at the University of Michigan.
Some important Red Wings and Joe Louis Arena historical facts are present in the tweet below and if you want to see 5 cool ice hockey facts go to this link. Tomorrow brings the final game at The Joe, as the Red Wings will host the New Jersey Devils in the regular season finale. The Red Wings have been mathematically eliminated from the postseason, so this is it- the last hurrah.
The Detroit Compuware Ambassadors of the OHL played here for 1 season- 1991-92.
That's the real name of an actual team pic.twitter.com/GwcQVd2gwA
— Paul M. Banks (@PaulMBanks) October 22, 2016
The Joe possess a duality that you can only find in a border town. Fitting as it sits right on the river dividing the United States of America from Canada. It’s pretty much the last exit available before crossing the international border, the only place where you go south to enter Canada from the U.S. Like most border towns, gambling has a major presence, with casinos on both the American and Canadian side. However, you don’t have to travel to Detroit or Windsor for your gaming needs, you can just visit Royal Vegas online casino from anywhere in the world.
It’s a great Canadian style atmosphere in Hockeytown USA. Getting back to that duality- the concourse is a total dump. It’s like someone’s garage. Not just someone’s but whoever you know with the worst garage of anybody, it’s what the concourse is.
Gross. The amenities are great though. Love all the whisky bars, Canadian beers on tap and the boneless wings. What’s sold is great, even if it feels like it’s a high school football concession stand. Then cross the curtain, enter the arena, and it’s a whole new world!
Inside the arena bowl, it’s hockey atmosphere at its absolute best. Detroit Red Wings hockey in the final season at The Joe is a bucket list kind of experience. Joe Louis Arena also has an infrastructure quirk that I have never seen before, and I doubt I will ever see again.
It really has to be seen to be believed. All parking is just in one giant garage connected to the arena via pedestrian skyway and interstate off-ramp exit. You just go straight from the highway into the garage, as there are specific signs for the parking garage on the actual highway exit and guide signs. Then you walk right into the gate through the skyway.
No driving around shopping for the best prices at different lots. No long walking to the arena. Simple. easy. convenient.
And perfect for those nasty winter nights in Michigan when it gets REAL COLD! Also, perfect for rich white people who are deathly afraid of the city of Detroit and believe that it’s a Mad Max style post apocalyptic style hellscape. Those people, with those batshit crazy inaccurate views of Detroit can minimize their time in the city.
They can just drive in, park, walk in, watch the game and walk out.
They can go to Detroit, see a Red Wings game and live to tell about it. Amazing! What a time to be alive!
I’m more afraid of the fast food pizza though. Eating all that garbage all the time- that’s what will get you, Red Wings fans.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times and NBC Chicago.com, contributes to Chicago Tribune.com, Bold, WGN CLTV and KOZN.