Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 7/25/13
LANSING, Mich. — A state board unanimously gave the go-ahead Wednesday for a new Red Wings hockey arena in downtown Detroit to be paid for in part with $284 million 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 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 center 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 percent of the overall project cost would be private and 44 percent public, though about 60 percent of the actual $450 million arena cost would come from tax revenues. Another $200 million — 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 percent public and 25 percent 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. Filed under: Associated Press, Headlines, NHL
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rapper Luther Campbell's Miami coaching wish list has autocorrected error

Jordan Zimmermann issues farewell to Nationals fans

Zack Kassian suffered injuries in an early morning car accident

NFL looking into why Joe Haden was deactivated

Trent Dilfer rips Jimmy Graham as a blocker

Urban Meyers confirms WR Corey Smith has broken leg


Ryan Tannehill frustrated at Dolphins' practice squad

Urban Meyer says he could use J.T. Barrett as red zone QB

John Cena taking extended WWE leave of absence

Missouri QB Maty Mauk suspended indefinitely

Carmelo Anthony on requesting a trade: 'Hell no'

Donald Trump: Redskins should keep team name

Who could be baseball’s next breakout postseason superstar?

WATCH: Seahawks' Russell Wilson refuses to get tackled

Why the Miami Dolphins had to fire Joe Philbin

Understanding Reggie Jackson's contract with Detroit

College football teams missing quality quarterback play

Alley Broussard waiting for Leonard Fournette to break his LSU record

Texas Rangers ups their concessions game for the postseason

What to make of Jameis Winston’s nightmare start

A brief history of Ichiro wanting to pitch

This weekend in NFL stupid: The Miami Dolphins

NFL players putting together unprecedented career years

College playoff: Five teams that hurt themselves, Week 5

College playoff: Five teams that helped themselves, Week 5

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Texas Rangers ups their concessions game for the postseason

College playoff: Five teams that hurt themselves

College playoff: Five teams that helped themselves

Could this be the Carolina Panthers season?

Michael Irvin: Cowboys have no chance against Patriots Sunday

Melo on requesting a trade: 'Hell no'

Remembering the Angels-Mariners AL West tiebreaker of 1995

Donald Trump: Redskins should keep team name

Redskins got a pregame pep talk from...Matthew McConaughey?

Matt Bonner is about to join an elite group of Spurs

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker