Great memories from the Joe but it is old and in the boonies of Detroit (which I know could be a lot of places)
OT: Mike Ilitch seeks downtown Detroit arena district
it's walking distance from many things downtown.
This is great news, however I have so many great Red Wings and Concert memories from the Joe
I even remember watching the Microwave pouring in 22 points in the 4th QT to beat the Celtics to tie up a playoff series 2-2 before eventually losing 4-2. I ran into McHale, Bird, Dennis Johnson, etc at the Ren Cen where they were staying after the game and they were some scowlful mofos that day boy.
Game was at the Joe cause the Silverdome had roof damage in case people were wondering
Joe Louis Arena is right on the river, next door to Cobo Hall and just a few blocks from the RenCen. If that's the "boonies," then the "real" Detroit is like a half-square mile.
I had Rosentraub. He knows his stuff.
Hopefully that includes the Auburn Hills Pistons.
a new arena, but this type of story seems to come up every year.
I like The Joe. I have sat all over the place and there doesn't seem to be a bad seat, I think.
The Joe certainly has loads of history and sentimental value, but pardon my French, its a fucking dump. The concourse is dark and cramped, when you walk up or down steps to your seat you feel like you could break your neck by falling, and the parking outside of the arena might be the biggest crime of all. Aside from the product on the ice the Joe is just plain awful.
Yes, correct. I wonder if people who like Joe Louis Arena have been to any other arena in the NHL.
I have seen hockey games in Boston, Buffalo, Denver, Detroit, Minneapolis, St Louis, Tampa Bay and Washington's arenas. Not exactly a complette sample, but certainly enough to rank Joe Louis a distant last of all of them.
An arena incorporating modern, more fan-friendly design would be a huge improvement over the dingy, cramped JLA. Joe Louis must be last remaining single-concourse arena in the NHL--and there's no logical reason that it needs to be, other than the fact that they hadn't invented multi-concourse arenas in the late 1970s. If it also took a cue from baseball ballpark design and incorporated some old-timey elements (like maybe the Maple Leaf Gardens' end zone upper decks that were practically on top of the ice), it could be a showpiece.
I see these debates all the time on Wings boards, generally they have been to other arenas but hide behind BS "I WANT A HOCKEY GAME NOT A MALL" schtick to mask the fact that it's 100% nostalgia.
If we were still playing at the Olympia, I'd be sad. Because that was a glorious building. JLA is a concrete dump that was built on the cheap during the nadir of American civic architecture, one that was thrown up so fast that it lacked a press box and had to be re-done to add one.
That's because it's built just like Crisler, a bowl shape with no luxury boxes. I hope when they build a new arena for the Wings they don't ruin it and make it the same as all the other new arenas.
It has luxury boxes around the top. I've been in them.
This is true, but they are so far away that you might as well be watching on TV. I like how other arenas have those club seats and mid-level luxury boxes.
Well my experience is sort of limited, but I have seen games at the Joe, Nationwide, Xcel, and the Thrashers place. If the Wings were to build the exact same place as any of those, it would be a massive improvement over the Joe.
I hope this comes to fruition.
its really a shame he didn't end up with the pistons.
The Wings need a new arena, but people need to let go of the idea that sports stadiums are "game changers" for cities. Building another stadium downtown probably won't make a big difference for the people in the residential areas of the city. Building Comerica Park and Ford Field didn't prevent Detroit from losing 25% of its population last decade.
Especially since he'll expect the city to pay for it.
Exactly. A new arena may be good or bad, but Illitch will use his influence to force taxpayers to fund most of it all for his own private profit.
Because if there's one thing the city of Detroit has been saying lately it's "hmmmm, how on earth do we spend all these extra tax dollars that keep piling up in our treasury?"
Not necessarily. The thing has been put off for about a decade now because the city hasn't been able to help with it, the sense people are getting is that Mr. I wants to at least see construction begin before he dies. To that end, he's done plenty of research on privately financing the thing or going in for most of it anyway.
You'll have noticed if you've been paying attention that the Wings have become very, very close with Amway. That's very important because not only are the DeVoss and Van Andel families the richest people in the state, they're also powerful forces within the Republican party at the state level. What public funding this gets will be coming from Lansing and I'd expect a big chunk will come from Grand Rapids in the form of a naming rights deal.
That may be, but the other question is, how bad might things have been without the new stadia?
The truth is, right now, the Joe is in no position to have a major effect on outside businesses. It's a boost, yes, but it's out of the way, sitting on land where the only, and I mean only, other decent use would be a Cobo expansion. A new arena where Ilitch is looking could be a major connector between Downtown and Midtown, which, let's face it, is badly needed.
Illitch and the speculation over the new stadium are a big reason why that area has not developed, almost impossible to build there and expect to make a profit with those land values. Look at how Corktown has developed since the Tigers left, neighborhood got stronger because the focus was on being a neighborhood not serving the stadium, and the price was right for smaller developers and businesses to come in and invest. Another example is how development was choked in Rivertown, an area that in the 80's and into the 90's had a vibrant nightlife district that got killed when speculators drove up the price of real estate for the rumored riverfront casinos.
Demand is up in the Downtown/Midtown areas but it's not enough. Detroit is a long way from any kind of tipping point because the tax rate is so high and services so low. For almost anything new in the city to get built anywhere it comes with massive subisidies.
That may be, but the other question is, how bad might things have been without the new stadia?
Likely no worse. Economic studies have shown that the impact of new stadiums is negligible at best. Keep in mind that hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds went to the construction of Comerica Park and Ford Field - money that could have served other purposes (or could have been kept by the citizens themselves and not levied as taxes). The main benefit of Comerica Park has been that it's become a money machine for the Tigers and allowed them to spend much more than they did at Tiger Stadium, with the intangible benefit of having a winning sports team to make people feel better (which is not nothing - sports are an important part of peoples' lives). But economically it's probably been a wash. It has led to an uptick in attendance, which does mean more people downtown, although most just drive in for the game and then drive out after. A small number of local businesses located immediately next to the stadium have benefitted.
Ford Field OTOH has done nothing for the Lions as a franchise and right now is harder to justify. The main benefit it's brought is that for 10 days a year, NFL fans come to downtown Detroit instead of Pontiac.
I don't think you can discount the value of having the Super Bowl and numerous other events in Detroit instead of in Pontiac or not in the region at all.
Even those driving in for the game and leaving immediately are doing something for the city, though; there is no way the city was collecting taxes on most Tiger Stadium parking, which was on vacant lots unlikely to have been owned by the people who sold parking there.
The Super Bowl at Ford Field was a one-time event that will never be repeated there. The only way Detroit will ever get the Super Bowl again is if the NFL convinces the city to build another stadium. How many non-NFL events does Ford Field host? I don't know the answer but I don't think it's many.
The unknown question is what the city, county and state would have done with the hundreds of millions they spent on those two stadiums. Maybe it would've been wasted (Detroit's not the most efficiently-run city, obviously). But maybe not. What we do know is that the cost-benefit analyses that have been made regarding taxpayer-funded stadiums have consistently drawn unfavorable conclusions on them. Detroit officials sound like gambling addicts when they talk about the great benefits that will supposedly arise from a new NHL arena: "Yeah, Comerica and Ford Field didn't turn the city around, but this new downtown stadium will!"
Super Bowl, Frozen Four, Final Four and other basketball games, including the previous NCAA tournament, USMNT and USNWT soccer games, Wrestlemanias, Gold Cup soccer, concerts concerts concerts, bull riding, multiple conventions, the Pizza Bowl, the MAC CG, the MHSAA championships, just because I didn't say them along with the Super Bowl doesn't mean they don't exist. All that stuff would've been out at the Silverdome, or simply not come to the area at all. It's not coincidence that one of the major catalysts in Pontiac's horrible financial situation was the building of Ford Field and the associated loss of the Lions and other events at the Silverdome.
I realize there are cost-benefit analyses to new stadium construction that don't cast it in a favorable light, but IMO they lose some weight when you see the economic impact of the NHL lockout.
They were paid for by an extension on the hotel tax in the city and county, so the answer is the city, county and the citizens therein wouldn't have done anything since a) the tax didn't exist otherwise and b) the people of Wayne County, overwehlmingly, weren't the ones being taxed.
Yes, studies have shown that stadiums do little for cities in terms of creating money. But that's shortsighted in this case. My father worked for Olympia in the early 90's and I vividly remember going to the Second City before it opened and looking at the city. That was a blighted area looking out onto a lot of abandoned buildings and the old Hudson's flagship. Now, between the stadiums and Compuware, the area is totally cleaned up and actually resembles a normal (if empty) downtown district. That's huge progress in this city.
That's a valid point, but not in this case IME
1. Almost all top end concerts go to the Palace right now. A new arena means a lot of those events migrate downtown which means people down there ~100 nights out of the year just for the new arena. Add in the stadiums, the Fox and the the Fillmore in walking distance and that means the city is buzzing pretty much every night
2. The proposed retail development is huge for the city. Imagine people who work in the city doing their christmas shopping downtown. Plus it helps with...
3. ... the proposed residential development. A lot of young people with money in this area would love viable safe living options in a central location in the city.
4. It helps to make public transportation viable in the woodward corridor
This is a big, big plus for the city.
Young people with money live in Royal Oak and its surrounding communities and commute to the city. No one wants to live in the city. It is not Chicago. It is a trash heap.
My two closest friends from college who live in the Detroit area both live downtown, have for a few years now, and both love it. What you're saying was true ten years ago, but it's changing.
Word. I lived in RO, Midtown and now I'm downtown right next to the Joe and Downtown is great. I can hop on the people mover and be at Greektown in 5 minutes.
Midtown and Foxtown have been slowly gentrifying over the past decade. We're not talking about the east side here, we're talking about the lower Woodward corridor. It's not an unsafe or even badly blighted area, it's just empty. And I think a high end retail development plus the proliferation of good restaurants in the area and new skylofts could very well give the area a Royal Oak or AA-esque appeal. Especially if it's initially cheaper to get into.
Cities are undergoing a major revival. Detroit doesn't need to be an exception.
This is true, but the problem is, the amount of people moving in to those specific areas is a drop in the bucket compared to the number of people citywide who are moving out. Detroit has been banking on the idea that redeveloping downtown will have a spillover effect to the residential neighborhoods further out, but the connection is tenuous at best. People living in a crime-infested neighborhood on Six Mile are not likely to be swayed to stay put just because a new hockey arena is coming up.
If lyou really want to build a vibrant residential area down there, you've gotta build some new school buildings and do what it takes to keep them safe, gang free and corruption free. Detroit City Schools are the whole reason the population moved out of town. They don't want to put their kids in that situation.
Well, sort of. Over Thanksgiving I got to hear the awkward story from grandpa again about how they saw the black people moving closer to their house off Jefferson and decided it was time to high-tail it out of the city...
Obviously the schools are a big factor, too.
That may have been the case in your grandfather's day, but today flight from Detroit is hardly racially-related at all. The city is overwhelmingly black and the people leaving for the suburbs are black themselves.
Yep, Southfield and Oak Park are examples of this.
it's called black flight and there have been a lot of studies on it (especially as it relates to whites then fleeing to outer ring suburbs or, in the case of Warren, instituting school of choice programs to create de fact segregation. In 2010)
I understand the awkward grandpa story. I'm still amazed sometimes at how racist some of the older generations are around Detroit.
Although younger generations seem to much more open-minded, unfortunately it is still the older mindset that is in control of much of the politcal power around Detroit. Hopefully in a few more years that'll start dying off and then I suspect the Detroit renaissance will really have a chance to take off (not just for trendsetters but the middle class as well). In the meantime, it's quite frustrating to watch.
Lets not forget the anti-white Racism which is still alive and strong in Detroit.
That is a major deterrent to businesses along with the corruption. I can say this as someone who had an office downtown on Woodward for three years, and ended up closing it.
Yepp. It's definitely alive and well. Experieced it more than a few times from residents along with Detroit's supposed 'finest'. Just like when whites are racist against X minority group, you can pretty much chalk it up to lack of interaction with the other culture(s), biases you're raised with (black's are lazy and want welfare/white people are the blame of all your problems). We need interaction and education. Metro-Detroit is one of the most segregated places in the country. You have Detroit hasa pre-dominantely black city, Southfield and Oak Park as the "black suburbs" and then Oakland and Macomb are as white as they come. That trend started to shift away a bit with the rise of the black middle class in the late 90s coupled with the relaxed standards for home loans but still the problem exists. Despite some bad experiences, I still think the majority of folks in the city aren't bad. You're going to get assholes no matter where you live. They'll be of all races, creeds, nationalities, etc. You can only try to hope for the best. I don't think I'll move out of the city for a long time. I'd like it to be a cool place to live and work. It bothers me that so many of my friends that I grew up with in the Oakland area who went to MSU and UM are in places like Chicago, Dallas, LA, DC. etc. and I can think of maybe a handful that stuck around Michigan and almost none are in Detroit. It'd be nice to be a bustling center again. I hope I get to see it in my lifetime (only 24, so there's hope!).
You have Detroit hasa pre-dominantely black city, Southfield and Oak Park as the "black suburbs" and then Oakland and Macomb are as white as they come.
This is becoming less true. Macomb's black population increased dramatically between 2000 and 2010 - it's increasingly the destination for Detroiters leaving the city. Oakland has also seen its black population spread into places like Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield and Auburn Hills. The informal segregation is breaking down as cities are desperate to keep their population levels up in the face of the bad economy (which has driven a lot of long-time residents away).
Schools are one factor. Crime and generally bad city services are two other big ones. Also, the fact that there are very limited shopping options in the city (I believe there are actually no supermarkets within the city limits). Detroit has a long way to go to become a liveable city again. The city's politicians have been putting all their eggs in the downtown basket while neglecting the areas where 95% of residents actually live, and those areas are getting worse and worse.
There's neglect and then there's intentional downsizing. The big problem for Detroit, services wise, is that it's geographically massive. There are a lot of city blocks with a single family living on them. And that single family wants the whole block's streetlights lit. Bing has totally fucked up the attempts at rightsizing.
That's rather unfair to Bing, I think. The "rightsizing" thing is something that literally no American city has ever undertaken. There is no precedent whatsoever. And it's an extremely delicate balance between people who live on a block by themselves who are costing the city thousands that shouldn't be spent just so they can live there, and the idea that a city cannot take someone's tax dollars and provide them no services or push them out of their homes. Eminent domain laws are pretty well established for things like taking a house for public use or economic development, but not for taking it for the purpose of having no use at all.
A possible solution might be to tell people they're not getting services except for police and fire, and that might come slower than you'd expect, but in return, we'll grandfather you off the tax rolls until you move. And then you have to move somewhere where the services are, and anyone who buys your house or property doesn't get the tax holiday but still isn't getting services. That way at least they know what they're getting into. But I have no idea how that would be received politically. I do know that if the city tried to pick people up and move them against their will there would be hell to pay. The attitude in Detroit seems to be "yes this is a shithole but it's MY shithole" and that extendes from residents all the way to City Council.
I believe Youngstown has had a lot of success with their rightsizing program
I doubt schools are the issue, because the people living in downtown areas around the country don't have kids. That's what the suburbs are for. People are waiting longer to have kids, and living in an urban setting more. LA public schools are just as bad as Detroit, but all of the 25-35 year olds living in the city don't care about that, because they don't have kids. Even if they've recently had kids, they'll move elsewhere before their kids need to start school.
Point is, when cities build downtown living, they aren't thinking about the family of four.
Stop on by cowtown down south and study how much Nationwide Arena was built for $175M and then how much it was worth 11 years later when they forced the city and county to buy it with help from the state to operate it - $53M. Sure it's a nice little area surrounded by high priced parking and a nice minor league ballpark but the novelty has worn off for me. Only go there once a year if that much. If a restaurant down there had another location we go to the other location.
Great venue to watch hockey and concerts but even there, it's easier in and out at Value City.
the problem with nationwide was twofold:
1. a privately funded arena sounds nice, but the tax bills are immense. A public stadium authority basically has to own any stadium or else it makes no financial sense
2. Value City existed and was stealing a lot of events that Nationwide needed to be a success. OSU was being uncooperative with the Jackets about forming a scheduling arrangement.
the owners argue that the value of the building decreases $107M the day it opens due to obsolescence - it took 10 years of court battles and negotiating to sort that out (interesting article here).
Now OSU manages both venues so problem 2 has been solved; only took 11 years to fix that.
Maybe there is some value to these arenas in increasing housing values nearby...or maybe this just proves that there are researchers out there researching anything - http://college.holycross.edu/RePEc/spe/FengHumphreys_PropertyValues.pdf
(Note, that is from the North American Association of Sports Economists, who might have a vested interest in publishing positive data)
I know sports arenas aren't miracle cures for cities, but if this arena is built I think you will see additional restaurant/bar developments. Hell, if they built a nice high rise for condos/apartments that part of the city could really become nice.
Bring the nice resturants and other things to the area...have the Tigers, Lions, Pistons and Wings all near one and other and rebuild from there.
this is planned for all the vacant lots and crumbling buildings between Park, I-75, Grand River and Adams.
Would that be accurate?
Another would be all the vacant land around Temple street north of I-75 west of Woodward. Sort of a bridge from downtown to midtown.
While an arena would be great, especially if it brings the Pistons back downtown, I'm more interested to hear about the proposed residential and commerical development attached to this. It takes actual people and businesses to build a city.
moving downtown, I'm pretty sure the sale of the Pistons included purchasing The Palace itself.
If it's near Woodward, it should help drive demand for transit in that area. Or is that just wishful thinking from this light rail supporter?
Illitch is an M-1 investor and the mysterious Temple stop on the proposed line is right in the area this will probably be built. So I'd say that this is a pretty huge component of the M-1 plan and the existence of residential, commercial and stadium developments along the line will make it more viable, yes.
JLA is a dump so I'm glad. Seats haven't ever been replaced, only has one concourse, dreary 1980s look inside, crappy video screens.
Honestly, construction jobs and projects like this, while nice, aren't the main answer. We need to attract companies and businesses, make the city safer, and get some semblance of reliable public transportation. With Wayne State, UM, and MSU not to mention UWindsor, the human capital exists in the area. Right now, 90% of the city is unlivable. Seriously, as an educated 20 something who wants to live in the city, there's maybe a few key areas you can stay in and feel somewhat safe.