Is it Just Me or Did You Not Know This is How Detroit’s Little Caesar’s Arena Transforms Either?
Maybe this has been covered extensively before and yes, this could have been discovered way sooner with a simple Google search...but that would ruin the fun of JUST NOW figuring out that THIS is how Little Caesar's Arena is able to alternate between Detroit Red Wings and Pistons games.
Let me tell you, when I say my mind was BLOWN after seeing it on video and having one of those "I was today years old..." moments, I mean it.
Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons Playing Under One Roof at Little Caesar's Arena
To understand my bewilderment, we first have to rewind a bit.
I grew up a Detroit Red Wings fan and, at least once a year, got to go to good, old Joe Louis Arena. I even, humble brag here, was invited to participate in their High School Journalism Day back in 2014 and got a more behind-the scenes look at what goes on at the arena.
It all gave me a real understanding that from sitting up in the "nosebleeds" to the press box to being in the second row, there was so much about a hockey arena to love...so how could it possibly also double as a place for professional basketball?
Little Caesar's Arena Pulls off Both NBA and NHL Games
When it was announced the Red Wings and the Pistons would both be moving to a new arena, I wondered how they would be able to pull it off, especially when both teams were in-season.
Would they roll out some hardwood on top of the ice? Would it be just as cold in the arena for basketball games as it is for hockey games? Would they have fake ice they'd set up on top of the hardwood?
All of those were probably questions people had at one point and they, unlike myself, probably found those answers out a lot sooner than I did...but the mystery really kept the fun alive for me as I have yet to make it to any kind of event at LCA.
How Little Caesar's Arena Transitions Between Red Wings and Pistons Games
Now that we know why it took me so long to figure it out (don't judge me), let's get to how I finally learned what (probably) the rest of the Detroit sports fans knew all along.
I was scrolling through Instagram the other day when I happened upon a time-lapse video that @pistonsandone shared in preparation to switch the arena from hardwood to ice for the Wings:
As you can see in the video, once the court is pulled up piece by piece, there is a black surface revealed.
That surface, as reported by Hour Detroit, is actually an insulated platform that both keeps the rink cold and can support the flooring for the basketball court.
Crews haul out the floor "in four by eight sections and then fit together," says Hour Detroit. "That is, of course, after [a] team of about 60 people removes the hockey boards, penalty boxes, and protective netting. Once the floor is down, they raise the basketball hoops and install the courtside seating."
Hour Detroit also reports the floor panels of the basketball court, in order to keep them nice, are stored in a room that is climate-controlled.
Other Arenas That Double Up For Basketball and Hockey
Now, the Hour Detroit article cited above was written back in 2017 so this really isn't necessarily NEW information, now is it?
Either way, I just learned about it today and wanted to know more.
Turns out, there are actually 10 other arenas that both the NHL and the NBA share the space!
You've got the Barclay Center in New York, the Staples Center in Los Angeles (which THREE teams play in), the United Center in Chicago and more (CLICK HERE for the full list and info from "From This Seat".
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