DETROIT (WJBK) - It’s down to the wire at Little Caesar's Arena, where last minute preparations underway - from painting to unpacking - all ahead of Tuesday night's big show and the debut of Detroit’s newest entertainment venue.
“We're going down to the wire. Every time you open one of these buildings, every staff member has either a paint brush or a broom. That's what it comes down to,” said Tom Wilson, President and CEO of Olympia Entertainment.
He’s not kidding about all hands on deck - Fox 2 ran into Hockey Hall of Famer and Red Wings color analyst Mickey Redmond sporting his hard hat and vest.
“This was Mr. Ilitch's dream. He and I talked about this 25 years ago… the rebirth of the city of Detroit - and this thing - it's awesome,” said Redmond.
The Little Caesar’s Arena is pretty impressive - and with a price tag of 862.9 million dollars - it should be.
“The entire roof lights up and it can light up in a million different colors. We're going to use it extensively for Red Wings and Pistons games and concerts, etc. The acoustics are extraordinary - we were listening to the warm up bands earlier today and just going - it's everything we hoped it would be,” said Wilson.
What they hadn't hoped for - the controversy over the very first concert here at Little Caesar's Arena. The National Action Network marching in protest of Kid Rock - here for six sold out shows.
“We're going to book the shows that people want to see and people want to see Kid Rock - it's going to be a great show they're coming to see not a political opinion and I think that's the most important thing,” said Wilson.
There are still a few dozen tickets available for Kid Rock’s performances. Sixteen to seventeen thousand people are expected to attend the first of many of his concerts.
“We go through six Kid Rocks and then Ed Sheeran, then the Red Wings start playing pre-season then Pistons start playing pre-season…. then the Red Wings start playing regular season then the Pistons. In the middle of that, you have Paul McCartney coming in, then Lady Gaga… Katy Perry… Janet Jackson… The Weekend… Jay Z… and it just goes on and on and on,” said Wilson.
Great shows - and hopefully great teams - in what many are calling a great new opportunity for Detroit.