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SBD/December 5, 2012/Facilities
Ilitch Proposes Downtown Detroit Hockey Arena As Part Of $650M Mixed-Use Development
Published December 5, 2012
CAT'S OUT OF THE BAG: The DETROIT FREE PRESS' Tom Walsh writes now that Ilitch "has finally declared his intent to build a new arena and other cool stuff in downtown Detroit, the debate can commence." People will "squeal about spending tax dollars on a hockey palace or some trendy downtown stores when Detroit can't keep the streetlights on." Other people, "just as passionately, will sing the praises of the Ilitch family for moving Little Caesars downtown when most other businesses were fleeing, and for reviving the Fox Theatre, and for spending money to make winners of the Red Wings and the Tigers." The great "paradox of Detroit is that it is widely perceived as one of the nation's worst places to live, yet it also occupies a unique place in the American culture." Walsh: "That paradox will play out for months amid the debate and speculation about the Ilitch development plans and how they will be financed." What the Ilitch "declaration does not do is provide any hint about whether Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores might someday be interested in sharing an arena with the Red Wings and moving the basketball team downtown from the Palace of Auburn Hills" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 12/5).
DOUBLE DIPPING? In Detroit, Drew Sharp writes the Red Wings are "long overdue for a new home, but the only way this entertainment district makes business sense would be if the Pistons are involved, ensuring more dates at the arena and improving the financial viability of restaurants, bars and retail outlets." Gores is a "very shrewd businessman and might have some negotiating leverage because the Ilitches will need the Pistons to make their vision work." Detroit can "no longer provide the necessary corporate backing for four professional teams in four separate facilities." Sharp: "It isn't economical. The consolidation of assets is the action that makes the most sense" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 12/5). Also in Detroit, JC Reindl writes under the header, "If New Home Built For Red Wings, Will The Beloved Joe Have To Go?" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 12/5).