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Little Caesars Arena

April 29, 2019

  • 2645 Woodward Avenue
  • Detroit, MI 48201
  • (313) 471-3200
  • Website

Everyone remembers their first concert.  Mine was the B-96 Summer Bash at the Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, IL.  Ricky Martin, Tyrese, Keith Sweat, Busta Rhymes, 98 Degrees Venga Boys and a very hot at the time N’SYNC.  I was 19 at the time and not in to any of that music but my brother had an extra ticket so I went.  I like to tell people my first concert was actually a couple of months later when I saw Metallica, Sevendust and a very up and coming Kid Rock at the Allstate Arena.

The thing with my story though…I was 19 and on my own.  I was taking myself to these concerts.  My parents weren’t really into seeing shows like that when my brother and I were little.  We did a ton of baseball games instead.  I’m not complaining at all.  I loved every minute of those baseball games….but I do wish I had gotten to see New Kids on the Block during the No More Games Tour at the Rosemont Horizon in 1990.

We decided last fall we were going to let L pick a concert to go see her first concert.  Like me, she will have a first concert she’s kind of embarrassed by and will tell people this story instead.  You see, we took her to her first actual concert when she was two.  We saw The Wiggles at the Fox Theatre.  She might be embarrassed but I thought it was a great show.

She first picked Taylor Swift but Swift was in Detroit three nights later on a Tuesday so that couldn’t happen.  After a few more tries, I found P!nk would be in Detroit in the spring and when I said that out loud, her eyes lit up and she asked if we could go see P!nk.

This past weekend was P!nk’s stop in Detroit on the Beautiful Trauma World Tour.  She did two nights at Little Caesars Arena after having to cancel a show there last spring due to illness.  Instead of doing just one on a Sunday night, she did two shows on Friday and Saturday.

We picked the Saturday show because it was easier for us to get to without taking time off work.  We made a weekend of it with just L.  We dropped B off with Nana and Grandpa for his own special night with them then the three of us headed to Romulus where we got a hotel for the night.

We headed in to Detroit at about 6:00 for the 8:00 show.  I had done my research ahead of time and already paid for parking at the 2127 Cass Avenue lot.  We got there just before 6:30, scanned our ticket then walked a couple of blocks back towards LCA.

Little Caesars Arena is a massive arena built in downtown Detroit on Woodward Avenue and Henry Street a coupe of years ago to replace the aging Joe Louis Arena.  There’s a whole lot of history that I’m not going to get into about what LCA was supposed to do for the area.  You can find that from Crain’s Detroit or HBO Real Sports if you’re interested.

The arena was built with the intention of it being the center of a neighborhood destination.  There are several stores and restaurants accessible from the outside of the arena on non-event days.  We had considered trying to get in to either Sports and Social Detroit

…or Mike’s Pizza before the gates opened but the lines just to get in were incredibly long.  These restaurants are also accessible from inside the arena once the gates open but lines formed there to so we came up with other plans which I’ll get to in a different blog post.

We ended up lining up at the Comerica Entry which is the one right near the corner of Woodward and Henry.  It was the complete opposite side of where we parked and would prove to be the complete opposite side from where our seats were but we ended up there looking for food so just decided to stay there.

The doors to the arena opened at exactly 7:00 and they were moving people through the  MAGS pretty quickly.  We were in the door before 7:00 and that’s really when we got our first look at just how massive this arena is.

The main floor of the arena has a really wide concourse with shops and restaurants on the outer wall and access to seats from the floor of the arena on the inner wall.  This area is much more of an entry point and a place to gather before events.  There were souvenir booths set up in a few different places but the lines were insanely long.  We passed and went to find something to eat at District Detroit Market (separate blog coming later).  I circled back to a souvenir booth later to get L a t-shirt while J and L went in to watch the opening act.

The second level of the arena is really where most people will get to their seats.  The concourse is, again, pretty wide.  You can see the curvature of the arena bowl on one side while the other also has some areas for shops and restaurants but most of that area is for the bathrooms.

The second level has the more traditional arena food stands serving hot dogs, beer, and pretzels.

There are also several beer stops ranging from the typical macro drafts to a stand by Grand Rapids Founders Brewing.

The only thing that really annoyed me about this place was finding the seats.  I knew what section I was in but they don’t list sections on the entrances.  They list “portals.”  Not really sure why this is a thing but there are 82 portals.  I did eventually realize it was listed on our tickets what portal we were supposed to use…but…seems like it’s a little tougher for first timers to figure out.

I got tickets several weeks after they went on sale so I didn’t have a lot to pick from.  We ended up with three seats in the upper bowl on the side of the stage.  Let me tell you, the upper bowl is steep.  It’s not quite vertigo inducing but it’s pretty close.  I was out of breath every time I had to run down to the bathroom with L.

The seats themselves are high back and pretty narrow.  I’m not a little guy and it took a long time to get comfortable.

The seat in front is pretty close which makes the walkway very narrow.  I did eventually get to a point where I was comfortable but it took a lot of squirming to figure it out.

l had no complaints at all about our view given the fact we were on the side of the stage.  The thing that looks like an overhang in front of us is actually the “gondolas” that house the press box and some suite seating.  It’s distracting at first but you eventually realize it doesn’t obstruct your view and learn to look past it.

Just a little bit about the show itself.  I’m not a huge P!nk fan. I like her music and I will sing along if it comes on the radio but I’m not running out to buy records.  That said, this was the BEST concert I have ever been to.  It was amazing.  The performance was amazing.  She was amazing.  We set the bar really, really high for L as I don’t think she’ll ever be at another concert that was this amazing.  You can find pretty much the entire concert (not this one in particular but a compilation from other shows) on Youtube…I’d encourage you to watch “So What”  at the end of the show…it was uh-mazing.

Listen, as a Blackhawks fan, this pains me to say, but Little Caesars Arena is pretty amazing…probably one of the best arenas I’ve ever been in.  I really think this place is going to change how new arenas are constructed.  They took some elements from some new Major League ballparks like Busch Stadium and incorporated them into an enclosed arena setting.  My only wish is the seats were a little bit wider but maybe I could work on myself a little bit and solve that problem.  We were really impressed with our first visit to LCA…everything from the ease of parking, to entry, to moving around the facility all the way to the incredibly easy exit from our parking lot and getting back on the Lodge…this was definitely a night to remember for all three of us.

 

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