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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:32 pm
 


Red Wings arena project gets go-ahead despite Detroit bankruptcy


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A state board on Wednesday unanimously gave the go-ahead for a new Red Wings hockey arena in downtown Detroit to be paid for in part with $284 million US in tax dollars even as the broke city works through bankruptcy proceedings.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and others defended against criticism that the $650 million project should be financed entirely with private money because the city currently can't provide basic services and retirees are facing cuts in their pensions. The 18,000-seat arena is designed to be a catalyst for more development and to link downtown and midtown, turning a blighted area into a business, residential and entertainment district.

"This is part of investing in Detroit's future," said Snyder, a Republican who blessed a state-appointed emergency manager's request to take the city into bankruptcy last week. "That's the message we need to get across. ... As we stabilize the city government's finances, as we address those issues and improve services, Detroit moves from a place where people might have had a negative impression — although there are great things already going on — to being a place that will be recognized across the world as a place of great value and a place to invest."

The Michigan Strategic Fund Board approved the Detroit Downtown Development Authority's request to use economic development taxes for the project. The board also took a preliminary step toward issuing $450 million US in bonds to build the arena, to be paid off in no more than 30 years by the Red Wings' owner and the city.

Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch has long wanted a replacement for the 32-year-old Joe Louis Arena located a few miles away. The new complex would be close to the Lions' Ford Field and Tigers' Comerica Park near Interstate 75 and Woodward Avenue.

Under the plan, the authority would own the arena and event centre complex. The Red Wings' owner would have exclusive rights to use, manage and operate it, and hold naming rights.

No new taxes or funds from the cash-strapped city would be needed.

The state Legislature last year approved a bill to help finance the project by allowing the use of tax dollars collected by the downtown development authority.

Senate Democratic leader Gretchen Whitmer, an East Lansing Democrat, opposed the measure as a drain on funding for Detroit's public schools.

"Now that the city's actually in bankruptcy those concerns are even more justified at this point," spokesman Bob McCann said Wednesday. "We're all supportive of new development in Detroit. But it's difficult to tell the residents of the city that this is more important than public safety or street lights."

Snyder argued the project will increase the city's tax base in the long run and create jobs.

Fifty-six per cent of the overall project cost would be private and 44 per cent public, though about 60 per cent of the actual $450 million US arena cost would come from tax revenues. Another $200 million US — all but $23 million of it private — is planned for projects nearby that could include rehabbing existing buildings and vacant lots for a hotel, stores, parking deck and residential units.

Olympia Development, owned by Ilitch and his wife, said the funding split for comparable major sports complexes in other cities in the past decade has averaged 75 per cent public and 25 per cent private.

Construction of the arena is anticipated to be done by 2017. It's also expected to host other entertainment events. No design has been made public.

Representatives for Olympia Development said the project will create 400 more permanent jobs and 5,500 construction jobs. At least half the construction jobs must go to city residents.

Other approvals are needed by local agencies.

"There is some additional due diligence that has to happen as a result of the Detroit bankruptcy," said Michael Finney, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. "But we have not identified anything that would signal pulling back from the project. We are motivated to continue moving forward and we trust that the project will be successful."



http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/sto ... uptcy.html


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:38 pm
 


It's state money, so it's a non-issue. I don't think it's the best way for Michigan to invest in Detroit, but Michigan's not on the verge of bankruptcy.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:45 pm
 


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.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:29 pm
 


Seeing the names of the three major sports teams there all together like that, I can't help but wonder... why weren't the Red Wings called the Bears?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:00 pm
 


Unsound wrote:
Seeing the names of the three major sports teams there all together like that, I can't help but wonder... why weren't the Red Wings called the Bears?


I guess because Papa Bear Halas had already spoken for the name. In the early 1900's and 1920's it was snooze and you loose and the Detroit Hockey Team was asleep at the switch when it came to picking names so by the time they got around to it all the tough, good ones were taken. :D


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:33 pm
 


Freakinoldguy wrote:
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 :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:56 pm
 


Nearly 50% of all people in Detroit are functionally illiterate.

What business will hire them? McD's? Wal-Mart? Decent paying work usually requires basic literacy skills. Are they going to send half the city back to school?

Detroit is done. Stick a fork in it.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:09 am
 


Detroit is done, in its current form. you don't go from 1.8 million in 1950 to 750k now and not think there wont be issues. Lets hope this Arena is the start of the rebirth of Detroit.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:45 am
 


llama66 wrote:
Detroit is done, in its current form. you don't go from 1.8 million in 1950 to 750k now and not think there wont be issues. Lets hope this Arena is the start of the rebirth of Detroit.


Not to be racist but, the only way they're going to revive Detroit is stop treating it as one giant gov't funded "project" that uses political interference to ensure a specific social engineering program produces the politically correct results they want.

Because, all you have to do is look at the plight Detroit is in now to see that by doing those things, successive Federal Governments have created the largest ethnic ghetto since Warsaw.

Until they bring racial and political diversification combined with a strong new industrial economic base all they're doing is throwing good money after bad while not helping anyone.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:04 am
 


I thought that ripping down all the old abandoned buildings would be a great make-work project that could boost employment. Problem is that Detroit has a couple of dozen sites that are so dangerously toxic that they fall under EPA Superfund hazmat special demolition/clean-up regulations. Can't hire random people for that kind of work, they have to be specially trained on everything from heavy equipment to environmental containment procedures. And what's true for Detroit applies just as much to the rest of the Rust Belt too, where there's hundreds (if not thousands) of abandoned sites so toxic that they can cause long-term lethal health problems to anyone unprotected who goes into them.


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