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SBD/Issue 195/Facilities & Venues
Red Wings Likely To Negotiate Shorter-Term Joe Louis Arena Lease
Published June 29, 2009
|Red Wings Looking To Renegotiate
Short-Term Lease For Joe Louis Arena
TOUGH CLIMATE FOR NEW ARENA: In Detroit, Drew Sharp wrote the Red Wings "made the correct decision in not renewing their 30-year Joe Louis Arena lease," as Ilitch "knows he cannot squeeze any more revenue out of the Joe." But Detroit's "shrinking automotive footprint makes support for a new Wings arena more difficult because the city, county and state have far more pressing concerns than funneling public funds into a lavishly equipped money-printing machine" for Ilitch. The "downsized local economy also makes it difficult for four teams to flourish financially in four separate facilities," as there "isn't sufficient corporate backing to buy those premium seats and lease those luxury suites with a recalibrated General Motors and Chrysler and the loss of local satellite industries such as suppliers." Sharp: "The problem is that the only way the new, lower-scaled Detroit economy could support a new arena would be by snatching money from another team -- perhaps Ilitch's own Tigers at Comerica Park" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 6/28).