Little Caesars Arena opens tonight with Kid Rock show; protest planned

New arena's opening act draws criticism

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ® , Dave Bartkowiak Jr.

DETROIT - The new Little Caesars Arena will open Tuesday night with a concert. 

Robert Ritchie, a.k.a. Kid Rock, is an unrepentant rebel who will open the venue with a string of live shows beginning Tuesday night. 

He embraces the loud and profane in his three-chord rock, often sampling familiar songs to the delight of his audience. 

However, Ritchie's recent political dalliances brought him scorn from Rev. Charles Williams of the National Action Network decrying Ritchie's use of the Confederate flag and recent concert statements. 

"We cannot stand by and allow bigotry and hatred win," said Williams. 

He plans to hold a protest outside the arena on Tuesday night.

Kid Rock pushed back, first by noting he has not used the Confederate flag in six years after he received the Detroit NAACP's Great Expectation Award. 

Kid Rock fires back

He took to Facebook on Monday with a profanity-laced statement which reads, in part: "People pay no attention to the garbage the extreme left is trying to create. They are trying to use the old confederate flag B.S., etc. to stir the pot."

He continued: 

"My track record in Detroit and Michigan speaks for itself, and I would dare anyone talking trash to put theirs up against mine."

At the very end he wrote: "P.P.P.P.P.S. I love black people!"

Olympia Entertainment stands by opening act decision

Olympia Entertainment's Tom Wilson defended his decision to have Kid Rock open the new arena. 

"There has been some controversy as of late, but I've been doing this for 30 years the one thing I've learned, is there are controversial artists that will come and go and opinions are going to come and go. Our job is to put great entertainers in this building and then let the public decide," said Wilson. 

The shows will go on and so will the protest. Rest assured Olympia Entertainment knows about the protest and the controversy, which may actually contribute to ticket sales. That's good for business if things don't get out of hand. 

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