Joe Louis Arena transforms for #MotorCityMadness

The Horizon League unveiled the Motor City Madness court at the Joe Louis Arena Thursday morning ahead of this weekend’s league tournament.

Immediately following the conclusion of the Red Wings game against the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday evening, Connor Sports Flooring and the Horizon League worked overnight to change the floor from ice to hardwood. The court is portable and was manufactured in Amasa, Mich.

“The design came from the Horizon League, so the floor is manufactured at the mill and then we send the court to one of our court finishers,” Ron Dudzik, midwest regional manager at Connor Sports Flooring, said. “We are so proud of the Horizon League conference tournament and to be back at the Joe playing basketball.”

The deal to bring the Horizon League tournament to the Joe Louis Arena was finalized in May of 2015 between the league and Olympia Entertainment.

President and CEO of Olympia Entertainment, Tom Wilson, said that their goal is to get as many students from the schools come here and have a great weekend in Detroit.

“We have had people on the campuses working in the marketing and PR departments of the universities, working in the student body, trying to get excitement for the tournament,” Wilson said. “It’s basketball back in downtown which is where it should be and that’s fun.”

The Horizon League tournament was previously held at the school that had the best record in conference play, but this is the first year the tournament will be at a neutral site.

Horizon League Deputy Commissioner, Julie Roe, explained that their vision, along with Olympia Entertainment, is to allow all 10 teams feel like a champion and make it feel like a community-based championship, which the Detroit setting provides.

“Oakland and Detroit Mercy know how special Detroit is, but most importantly, how do we get everyone else excited about Detroit from our other eight communities? We are really starting to see that happen with alumni buses coming here from different schools to experience Detroit,” Roe said. “We really focused on the venue itself which means huge game atmosphere. It’s going to be a great four days of basketball.”

Motor City Madness begins Saturday with first round action. Oakland’s first game will be at 9:30 p.m. Monday night, and can be seen on ESPNU. The championship game will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday night airing on ESPN.

Tickets and further information can be found at