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The Explanation For The Empty Seats At LCA Last Night

from Tony Paul of the Detroit News,

Why so many empty seats for the first regular-season Red Wings game at brand-new Little Caesars Arena?

Fans weren't the only ones to notice. Tom Wilson, president and CEO of Olympia Entertainment, was taken aback, as well.

"It was really interesting, because everybody was in their seats when we dropped the puck, and you just expect that's going to happen," Wilson told The Detroit News on Friday afternoon. "Now, we do have clubs here, and people sometimes go back in the clubs to have something to eat and everything like that, then they come out when the period starts.

"But, boy, people really, really disappeared last night."

The reason: The novelty of the new arena.

Yes, of course, the game was sold out, and almost every ticket sold was accounted for at the gates.

Fans, though, flocked to the concourse -- littered with countless shops, bars, restaurants, artifacts and the like -- to check out the new digs. And, subsequently, that made for some poor optics on TV, as at times it seemed like less than half the seats were occupied.

read on

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Primis's avatar

Then the wrong people were at the game.

I would have loved to have gone and would have stayed until the final horn.  Alas, I’m priced out of games now.

Maybe this is what you get when you court the elite/rich and ignore the die-hard fans whose economic resources are not unlimited.

Posted by Primis on 10/06/17 at 06:29 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Nice to see the Red Wings organization making excuses for empty seats continues into the new arena. I’d hate for that storied pastime to fade away.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 10/06/17 at 06:37 PM ET


Must be been all the amenities at the Joe too.

Posted by ThatGuy on 10/06/17 at 06:48 PM ET

Howie35's avatar

No, it was the restrooms and limited food/beer options at the Joe. And about 5000 season ticket holders not vendering their tickets unless the Leafs or someone was coming to town. Hmmm, on second thought…

Posted by Howie35 on 10/06/17 at 06:57 PM ET


Wake me up in February when the organization is making the same excuses. Certainly couldn’t have anything to do with a Boring product devoid of elite talent with no chance to win a Cup. Nope. It was the privilege to buy over-priced drinks in a club.., gulp

Posted by fatsavage on 10/06/17 at 07:05 PM ET


Can’t speak to it directly, re: LCA, but yeah, at the Joe it was waiting for a spot in front of a trough
and/or in line for beer.

But the overwhelming focus otherwise was directed toward the ice.

The problem with corporate ticket-buyers and comfortable but indifferent fans
leaving the lower bowls too empty is a long-standing one now, sadly.

But as great as LCA sounds in most every respect, I wonder if they didn’t make
it too much of an attraction with too many amenities outside of the actual arena.

Whether it’s a music venue or an arena or a crummy old Big Ten fieldhouse from
an earlier era, I think most of us would agree that the best experience is an intense
one where all of the common energy is focused forward toward the stage or the game.
Great venues to see a show or game have been pretty big dumps - and simultaneously
great places to see what you came for…assuming that’s the show.

It kind of took me aback that there is at least one full-service, sit down restaurant
on the concourse. Might be nice, might be a money-maker, but from a sports perspective,
why would you want people traveling to the arena and then sitting down in a restaurant or
bar on the concourse to watch the game instead of their seat. No guarantee someone in
a seat won’t stare at their phone, but it’s a lot more fun and intense when an arena is
full and the crowd is paying attention.

Posted by Lefty30 on 10/06/17 at 07:29 PM ET


No one will pay big money for a average or bad product. In my case I’ve been seriously all but excluded because of the cost. I can spend quite a few hours at the gun range especially if I break out the 22.

Posted by stateofmifan on 10/06/17 at 07:46 PM ET


Tony Paul the new Sean Spicer?

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 10/06/17 at 07:52 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

Then the wrong people were at the game.

I stayed in my seat for the whole game less the last 2 minutes. When I left, the LCA Garage wasn’t backed up leaving. I guess many people stayed over at the restaurants. That benefits me.
Love it. cheese

Posted by bigfrog on 10/06/17 at 10:44 PM ET


There were always seats open at the joe. Did something change at the dough that was suppose to change the result?

Posted by SlimChance on 10/07/17 at 12:21 AM ET

Alan's avatar

Posted by SlimChance on 10/07/17 at 12:21 AM ET

I think it’s less any sort of change, and more the fact that empty seats are a lot more noticable now.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 10/07/17 at 02:51 AM ET


Seems like a bit of an over reaction to me. I was at the game, and yes there were open seats, but I really think people are underestimating how many people were truly just walking around the arena at any given time between food,beer, restaurants, shops, and arena tours and people taking pics. I stayed until the end of the game, but I was late getting back to my seat a few times.

Overall it’s an amazing arena. I don’t have a bad word to say about it. Everything was expensive, but I didn’t go in there expecting a deal lol.

Posted by RussianRocket10 on 10/07/17 at 11:25 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.