The first college basketball game at Little Caesars Arena will be Michigan against Detroit Mercy on Dec. 16.
It’s the first game of a doubleheader that will be followed by Michigan State against Oakland University. The games were announced during a news conference Tuesday morning outside the arena.
The first basketball game at Joe Louis Arena was a Michigan-Detroit Mercy matchup Dec. 12, 1979. U-M won, 85-72.
“This is exciting,” U-M coach John Beilein said Tuesday. ”I think there was a record number of conference calls as we tried to put this thing together.”
The MSU-Oakland matchup is the renewal of a yearly series that has alternated between the Breslin Center and the Palace of Auburn Hills.
“Proud to be a part of it,” MSU coach Tom Izzo said.
Michigan and Detroit Mercy have a distant history, but this game will be more about the coaches than the past, as it will pit Beilein against his former U-M assistant Bacari Alexander, who will be in his second season at Detroit.
The first college basketball games at LCA will be a precursor to the arena hosting the Horizon League tournament next March and the NCAA tournament first and second round games in 2021.
Ticket information and game times for the doubleheader will be announced at a later time.