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Joe Louis Arena 1st Professional Sports Facility in the US to attain Safety & Security Designation

Joe Louis Arena, managed and operated by Olympia Entertainment, Inc., and home to the Detroit Red Wings, a member of the National Hockey League (NHL), is the first professional sports facility in the US to earn the prestigious Sport Event Security Aware (SESA) designation from The University of Southern Mississippi’s National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4).

The designation will also carry over to Little Caesars Arena, the new home of the Detroit Red Wings, currently under construction.

Joe Louis Arena is a 20,058-seat arena along the banks of the Detroit River. The venue hosts hundreds of attractions every year, including Detroit Red Wings hockey home games, college hockey, concerts, special events and family shows.

The team’s brand new ‘home’ venue, Little Caesars Arena, is on schedule to open in September 2017, and is seen as the cornerstone of The District Detroit – a US$1.2bn live, work and play development fueling the city’s redevelopment.

Little Caesars Arena. Courtesy: Olympia Entertainment.

Little Caesars Arena. Courtesy: Olympia Entertainment.

Richard Fenton, VP, Corporate Safety and Security, Ilitch Holdings Inc., an affiliate of both Olympia Entertainment and the Detroit Red Wings, said:

The SESA process was not only equally challenging in terms of its comprehensive review of our policies, procedures, security technology and training, it was also enlightening and informative because of the extensive on-site evaluation of our operational practices during an actual NHL game.

It’s one thing to have a review conducted that is primarily process-driven, but to have actual evaluators on site reviewing the operational application of our security program in its totality meant we could plan for both Joe Louis Arena and for our new world-class venue, Little Caesars Arena. We received feedback on the spot, which resulted in revised operational procedures that reflected the SESA assessors’ excellent observations.

NCS4’s comprehensive training and assessment process provides institutions with a set of scalable standards for assessing risks, identifying vulnerabilities, developing appropriate plans, policies and procedures, and providing training and exercises to facility staff.

Lou Marciani, Director of NCS4, said:

Receiving the SESA designation for both Joe Louis Arena and Little Caesars Arena is a significant achievement and a tremendous honor for Olympia Entertainment. The rigorous process reflects the collaborative commitment among their security staff and local, state and federal agencies, to meet the highest of standards.

Additionally, Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers, completed the DHS SAFETY Act Process for its professional baseball venue in the autumn/fall of 2015, and received SAFETY Act CERTIFICATION — one of only two Major League Baseball (MLB) venues to receive this approval.

NCS4 offers the SESA designation to all professional, collegiate and amateur organisations that own or operate sports venues. Organisations will attain a set of scalable standards for assessing risks, identifying vulnerabilities and developing appropriate plans, policies and procedures. The result is a continual four-year cycle to review and upgrade safety, security and incident management programs.

For more information about SESA, visit:

About NCS4

The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4), at the University of Southern Mississippi, supports the advancement of sport safety and security through training, professional development, academic programs and research. NCS4 collaborates with professional leagues, open access events, intercollegiate and interscholastic athletics, along with professional associations, private sector firms and government agencies. It is a critical resource for sport venue managers, event managers, first responders, and other key stakeholders.

About Olympia Entertainment

Olympia Entertainment, a Detroit-based company owned by entrepreneurs Michael and Marian Ilitch, is one of the country’s most diverse sports and entertainment companies and the largest organisation of its kind in the Midwest. The company owns and operates Detroit’s Fox Theatre, the intimate City Theatre and also books and operates Joe Louis Arena and books Comerica Park. Olympia Entertainment also handles business operations for the Detroit Red Wings, an Original Six member of the National Hockey League and collaborates with the Detroit Tigers baseball franchise and other Ilitch companies.

Other Ilitch companies include: Little Caesars Pizza, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Champion Foods and Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program. Additionally, Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers, and Marian Ilitch owns MotorCity Casino Hotel.