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SBD/June 20, 2013/Facilities
Ilitch Family, Detroit Development Authority Agree On $650M Arena, Entertainment District
Published June 20, 2013
LESS IS MORE: In Detroit, Karl Henkel notes the arena's seating capacity is "roughly 10 percent fewer than the 20,066 at Joe Louis Arena." The "idea behind new stadiums and arenas is to create more value, and in most cases, that means shrinking the capacity to improve sight lines and game experiences." It also is a "move to combat the growing secondary ticket market" (DETROIT NEWS, 6/20). Also in Detroit, Brian McCollum notes officials are "billing it as a multipurpose venue that would host concerts and entertainment events year-round." Since talk of the proposed venue "began percolating several years ago," concert industry experts said that a new arena will "likely become an instant magnet for many acts as they sketch out Detroit tour stops" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 6/20).
YO JOE: In Detroit, John Niyo writes under the header, "Joe Louis Arena Will Scarcely Be Missed When Red Wings New Arena Goes Up." It is a "common refrain by now, but the Joe -- the fourth-oldest arena in the 30-team NHL -- was outdated almost from the moment it opened in 1979." The steps are "too steep" and the concourse is "too narrow and dimly lit." These days the "bathroom lines are legendary in length." As modern "amenities go, it leaves much to be desired." But to be "fair, it's also one of only three NHL arenas that aren't currently named for a corporate sponsor" (DETROIT NEWS, 6/20). Also in Detroit, Helene St. James writes, "At this point, the best part about the Joe is that it’s not named after a corporate sponsor." Otherwise, it is "outdated." St. James: "I don’t see anything but an upside to a new hockey arena" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 6/20).
FAMILY SHARE PLAN: Meanwhile, the DETROIT FREE PRESS reports the Pistons "might be interested in sharing an arena with the Red Wings someday, but in the near future, that seems unlikely." Palace Sports & Entertainment President & CEO Dennis Mannion has been "making changes and upgrades in the past year as if the Palace of Auburn Hills will be the Pistons’ home for a long time." It is "hard to imagine a scenario in which the Pistons would leave a place with significant investment that still is considered a top-notch facility and move somewhere else to become a tenant" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 6/20).