Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena has announced plans to change the colour of all its seats to black, amid criticism that the previous choice of red was highlighting the number of empty seats during event broadcasts.
The multi-purpose venue opened in September 2017 and primarily serves as the home to NHL ice hockey team the Detroit Red Wings and NBA basketball outfit the Detroit Pistons.
The arena has also been used to host UFC mixed martial arts and WWE wrestling events, as well as a series of concerts.
While the facility itself has gone down well with fans, concerns had been raised over how easily empty seats showed up when events were televised due to their bright colour. Most of the complaints were focused on the lower bowl area.
Officials had previously tried to pass off the concerns by stating that fans were simply dispersed at other facilities around the venue.
To combat the issue, Sports & Entertainment for Ilitch Holdings, which owns the arena, is to embark on a multi-month process to switch the seats from red to black.
Work will be carried out in non-event times so as to not to disrupt the schedule at the Little Caesars Arena.
“We evaluated every aspect of arena operations during the inaugural year and after numerous discussions with the Pistons and other stakeholders, we have made the decision to install black seats at Little Caesars Arena,” Chris Granger, group president of Sports & Entertainment for Ilitch Holdings, said, according to the Detroit News.
“When the Pistons agreed to move to downtown Detroit and play their home games at Little Caesars Arena, many design features were either finalised or already in production.
“We very much value our partnership with the Pistons organisation and have made this decision together.”