Motor City Electric Co. (MCE) was the electrical contractor of record for construction of Detroit’s brand new Little Caesars Arena (LCA). We began the project in a design-assist role, but that soon morphed to full-blown design-build responsibility.

The arena is host to the NHL Detroit Red Wings, the NBA Detroit Pistons, NCAA basketball, concerts, and other events. The initial budget was $450 million and the final cost was nearly $1 billion. Nearly $700 million in contracts went to Michigan-based businesses, with more than $475 million, totaling 61%, of that to Detroit-based businesses. LCA created 12,000 jobs, utilized up to 1,200 construction people on-site each day, including 2 shifts, 7 days a week in the final months of construction.

Every Aspect of Electrical Work

The arena measures 360 feet from east to west and 460 feet from north to south, and contains 755,000 total square feet of usable area. From September 2015 through September 2017, MCE and its subsidiaries – Motor City Electric Technologies, Motor City Electric Utilities, Huron Valley Electric, Rotor Electric of Michigan, and Williams Electrical and Telecommunications Co. performed more than 99% of the total electrical/electronic requirements for the project including completion of more than 1,000,000 electrical terminations. We also provided specification, wiring, and installation of:

  • Substations
  • Distribution boards
  • Panel boards
  • LED sports lighting system and fixtures
  • Miles of cable: medium voltage, feeder, branch, network, broadcast
  • High definition televisions
  • HVAC and power monitoring control systems
  • Air handler units, power and controls
  • Smoke control system
  • State-of-the-art theatrical lighting system
  • LED “grid lighting” system

Check the Project Highlights on the right for full details!

Added Value

The MCE Fabrication Department (“Fab Shop”) designed and created thousands of feet of conduit, brackets, and supports along with the mounting brackets for the (QTY) roof-mounted sky tracker fixtures that we installed after they were delivered to the job site via helicopter drop!

MCE and its subsidiaries also provided temporary power, traffic signal relocations, and streetlight moves; electrical testing – everything from substation and distribution power to lighting and low voltagesystems; and installation of power, lighting, and traffic and safety control systems for 20 surface parking lots around the arena

Engineering

One of Motor City Electric Co.’s greatest contributions to the project was engineering. For the final 15 months of the project, MCE engineers did it all. The Project was originally awarded as a $74M design assist Project which was rapidly turned into a $160M design/ build Project. MCE and it’s subsidiaries’ engineering performed every task from conduit design and layout to a complete lighting control system. WE also provided sports lighting design for a dual sport facility and a completely engineered power system, including the power study and ARC flash requirements

From June 2015 to March 2016, our Utilities division built DTE Energy’s engineer-procure-construct (EPC) Temple Substation that provides electrical power not only to the arena, but also to the entire District Detroit. The 13.2kV to 120kV Type S substation consists of three main power transformers, two power distribution centers (PDCs), four metal enclosed capacitor banks, nine reactors, five high voltage breakers, and multiple high voltage and low voltage disconnect switches.

Safety

From a safety point of view, MCE and its subsidiaries performed over 1,000,000 man hours’ worth of work with only a couple of minor lost day cases.

MCE Stadium/Arena Construction

Motor City Electric Co. and its family of subsidiaries has constructed other stadiums and arenas including the MLB Detroit Tigers’ Comerica Park and the NFL Detroit Lions’ Ford Field. As a result, completion of Little Caesars Arena means that we have covered all four major sports: hockey, basketball, baseball, and football. LCA was not only our largest sports facility project, but it was our organization’s largest overall project to date.