According to the Free Press’s Carlos Monarrez, the Red Wings and Pistons are actually doing a very good job of drawing fans to Little Caesars Arena..
The Red Wings and Pistons have records below .500 and they are both either entirely out of the playoff race or on the outside looking in. But if you go by attendance figures, the Wings and Pistons are having great seasons.
The Pistons have sold out six games this season, compared with just two sellouts in their final season at the Palace. They have drawn 603,128 fans and are averaging 17,232 — 20,491 is a sellout. They are on track to draw 706,521 fans over 41 regular-season games, which would be the most since they drew 768,826 in 2009-10.
The Wings expect to sell out their 41 regular-season games, with 19,515 marking a sellout.
There’s optimism the success will continue. Both teams expect little change in ticket prices for next season. The Wings said the vast majority of ticket prices will stay the same or decrease, though they did not provide details on pricing or season-ticket renewals.
But the biggest issue for fans isn’t the lacking atmosphere, the empty seats because “fans are enjoying the arena amenities” or the fact that some of LCA’s seats are actually more “squished” than the Joe: it’s parking, with $20 or $30 not unheard of to park a car anywhere near the facility.
The day of the Wings-Golden Knights game on March 8, the only Olympia Development lots open were at the Fox Garage on Montcalm and the D Garage on Fisher Service Drive. Both lots were charging $30 and were two-tenths of a mile away with snow and temperatures in the 20s in the forecast.
For the Pistons-Chicago Bulls game March 9, parking ranged from $30 to $40.
According to the Wings, every lot and garage Olympia Development operates is open for Wings and Pistons games and concerts with nearly 8,000 parking spots available for as low as $5, depending on the event and proximity to the arena. The Wings encourage fans to reserve parking early through ParkWhiz.com.
There are other parking areas and lots not affiliated with Olympia Development, which the Wings acknowledge and said afford “far more parking options compared to Joe Louis Arena.” But as more people discover these options, they’re filling up as well.