DETROIT (WJBK) - The name of the new home of the Red Wings will be Little Caesars Arena, Christopher Ilitch announced Thursday morning at a news conference.
The name is a nod to the pizza chain founded by Mike and Marian Ilitch, current owners of the Red Wings. The first restaurant was opened in Garden City, Mich. more than 50 years ago. Their brand is now internationally known.
The arena had been called the "Detroit Events Center" during construction. The Wings currently play at Joe Louis Arena, which opened in 1979. The new arena is part of a broader entertainment district being built north of downtown.
The new home of the Red Wings is expected to open in the fall of 2017. The venue will also host concerts and other events, including Wings' practice. The 20,000-seat arena will also include "gondola seating" suspended over the event level, a public plaza with a big video wall and ice for practice and amateur hockey.
The agreement will keep the arena named Little Caesar's Arena for 20 years. The Red Wings got $120 million for the deal.
Also announced on Thursday Dave Scrivano, President of Little Caesar's, announced the largest Little Caesar's character in the world would grace the top of the arena.
"This sponsorship is a big deal for us, so we're going to do this larger than life," he said.
This is a developing story. Stay with FOX 2 for updates.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.