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Running the venue’s lighting and special effects takes 28 cable reels to make sure everything is ready for each event. As part of the $1 billion to build Little Caesar’s Arena (LCA), McNaughton-McKay Electric (Madison Heights, MI) was awarded the electrical contract. They brought in Motor City Electric and Conductix-Wampfler to provide the reels in August 2017. The reel contract provides total cable automation to a system used to be managed by hand.
The first 15 reels consist of 11 MAG Drive motor-driven reels with a magnetic coupling and four 2400-series gaffer reels. The motor-driven reels supply power to the bottom section of the arena’s jumbotron screen display. The gaffer reels provide power to the smaller, aluminum trusses spread throughout the arena. These trusses house lighting and sound fixtures for the events, and are raised and lowered above the audience.
The remaining 13 are galvanized spring reels made at our plant in France. These have fiber-optic cables, which run to the same aluminum trusses as the gaffer reels. These reels integrate the evolution of power conductors and optical fiber lines into composite cables. Also, they are fully compatible with Ethernet, DMX 512 protocol, microphones, and video signals, and increase the quality and speed of data signal transmissions.
In total, the 28 reels are spread throughout 12 total trusses and the jumbotron in the arena.
In September 2017, Little Caesar’s Arena replaced both the Joe Louis Arena and The Palace of Auburn Hills as the current home of Detroit’s NHL team, the Red Wings, and its NBA team, the Pistons. The arena is in downtown Detroit next to the Comerica Park (MLB’s Detroit Tigers) and Ford Field (NFL’s Detroit Lions).
Sporting events are only part of the story. LCA also serves as a major music venue. Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Elton John are some of the major headliners that have played at the Arena.
As there was no buffer on the deadline; Conductix-Wampfler’s technicians worked right up until the final hour on Sept. 12, 2017 to ensure the cable and fiber optic reels were ready to perform for the arena’s first concert. And because the reels did their job flawlessly, Kid Rock was able to do his job as well.