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Red Wings sign first cornerstone partner for new arena

Financial services company Michigan First Credit Union has signed on as the first cornerstone partner of Little Caesars Arena, the future home of NHL ice hockey franchise the Detroit Red Wings.

Michigan First, which serves as the Red Wings’ official credit union, struck the agreement with Olympia Entertainment, which operates the club. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

As a cornerstone partner of the arena, Michigan First will be granted title sponsorship rights to the innovative gondola seating section of the arena. Spectators and members of the media will be able to watch the action from the seats while suspended in the air above the ice.

The company will also sponsor the Red Wings’ raffle draw during home games. The raffle will raise money for the Detroit Red Wings Foundation, as well as youth programmes and local charities. Michigan First will serve as the presenting partner of the Red Wings College Nights events.

Pizza restaurant chain Little Caesars last month secured naming rights to the arena under a 20-year agreement with Olympia Entertainment. A number of companies have already agreed sponsorship deals with the venue, including US financial services company Comerica Bank, locally-based supermarket chain Meijer and Saint Joseph’s Mercy Healthcare, which have each signed on as landmark partners.

The 20,000-capacity Little Caesars Arena is scheduled to open in September 2017 in time for the 2017-18 NHL season. It will serve as the cornerstone of The District Detroit – a $1.2bn (€1.07bn) project designed to aid the city’s redevelopment – and will also host entertainment shows, concerts and community functions.