Steel Shots: Detroit Arena Tops Out

(Photos courtesy of Olympia Development of Michigan) 

The final piece of structural steel was recently placed on the roof of Detroit’s new Little Caesars Arena (future home of the Detroit Red Wings) and commemorated with a traditional topping out ceremony during which ironworkers signed their names and attached banners, an American flag and an evergreen tree before it was hoisted into place.

Structural steel work on the arena began last October and since then, Detroit-based Midwest Steel (an AISC member and certified erector) has placed 7,500 pieces of steel, weighing nearly 10,000 tons in total. The first roof super truss was placed in March (see our previous post on the project), and the steel for the project was fabricated by Cives Steel Company (an AISC member and certified fabricator) at their Midwest Division in Wolcott, Ind.

Construction of the 20,000-seat arena is rapidly progressing toward a September 2017 completion date, and the number of workers on site each day has grown to approximately 540. Structural steel for buildings that will hold new restaurants, shops and offices is simultaneously going up right next to the arena. Foundations for those buildings are complete, and more than half of the 1,200 pieces of structural steel have been placed. For more on the project, visit