Doesn't matter what the critics say. The only 3 things left in Detroit besides bars that actually make money are the Lions, Red Wings and Tigers so, building a new arena is an investment in the future for this once vibrant city and had they done the same thing for other industries 40 years ago this might not be a news story.
It wouldn't have mattered. What was killing Detroit was a growing lack of even basic high-school graduates among the significant African-American community there.
Business was bailing outta Detroit long before globalization and NAFTA because of that. They tried revitalizing the core by building the RenCen and a new arena(The Joe) along the waterfront in the '70s, but it was a ridiculous attempt to counter the growing high school drop-out rate.
It also doesn't help things when the environment there sucks ass, nor when the city becomes so violent, it makes the list of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world
in which to live.
When I moved away from that region for what so far has been the final time, I gifted my .270 to a good friend of mine with the promise that if I EVER go back to the area to live, he is to just shoot me and put me out of my misery