EDITORIAL: Black seats at Little Caesars Arena will be far more of an eyesore

What are the people running Little Caesars Arena thinking?

For those who haven’t heard, the venue will be installing new black seats to replace the original and barely into their second season of use red seats. Why? Team officials are apparently still bothered by the noticeable lack of people sitting in them. It was a regular theme last season for both the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons. Despite the fact that every Red Wings game was sold out, empty seats were obvious on television broadcasts.

The reasoning behind this eyesore was that fans were still exploring the brand new building and spending time in the multiple bars and restaurants in the spacious concourses. As noted by the Detroit News:

“(Building) officials initially tried to explain away the empty seats by saying fans were simply in the concourses and elsewhere in the building, checking out the new digs. But that excuse became less and less convincing as the (Pistons and Red Wings) seasons — both rough ones, record-wise — went along, and the number of empty red seats seemed only to increase.”

The knee-jerk reaction to replace the seats at Little Caesars Arena, which is barely into its second year of existence, is just that – knee-jerk.

Do the folks who made this decision not realize that black seats in a venue where neither team that calls it home has black as a color will be far more of an eyesore?

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This would be no different than if Bell Centre in Montreal decided to install green seats, despite the Canadiens colors being red, blue and white. How about the United Center in Chicago installing purple seats, despite the fact that the Bulls and Blackhawks feature red and black as their main colors?

The painfully obvious truth is that yes, there are plenty of empty seats for both tenants of the second-year venue. Never mind the fact that both the Red Wings and Pistons are nowhere near competing for a championship any time soon.

Of course, the first step to deal with this issue took place last season when the Pistons decided to place black seat covers over lower-bowl seats to try and mask the fact they were still having trouble attracting fans. The narrative that we were sold of fans returning to watch Pistons basketball if only they’d move downtown hasn’t come to fruition.

And apparently, it sounds as though this decision was made mostly with the Pistons in mind, as evidenced by the press release earlier today.

Why aren’t ticket prices being lowered in the lower bowl so that fans who want to attend games can actually do so?

The fact that Red Wings fans already have to look at Pistons banners and memorabilia when attending a hockey game has already rubbed many the wrong way. Of course, there’s the drama with the fake recording of the legendary goal horn from Joe Louis Arena. The red seats are part of the atmosphere at Red Wings games, and now that’s gone.

And now, fans will tune in and think that the Red Wings are playing at Staples Center, home of the Los Angeles Kings, who feature black and white as their primary uniform colors.

The fans will more inclined to spend their time in their seats during Red Wings games in short order, as the youth movement is fully underway combined with the possibility of Steve Yzerman returning next season. There is absolutely no need to change the aesthetics of the brand new venue, and this bizarre decision is short-sighted and a mistake.

Do better, Olympia Entertainment.

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