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OT: Plans Unveiled for Wings New Arena
I guess the Detroit News link is broken, try this instead
The leading reporter on this story (he's been on this story for years, essentially) is Bill Shea of Crain's Detroit Business.
Here is his story from yesterday:
Just to clarify all of the ignorant flaming going on, no general revenue funds from the City of Detroit will be used on this project. The DDA has some dedicated funding, which cannot be used for stuff like city pensions, police budgets, or neighborhood lighting or demolition.
In other words, the people complaining about "how can an exhausted city budget support this?" are way off b ase and they need to learn more about the details.
Reading. It is fundamental.
I don't see how it's relevant which fund the money comes from. It's tax revenue. The money was originally raised to pay down DPS debt. The state legislature then passed a bill allowing the funds to be used for a development project. I see no reason why they couldn't have earmarked it for streets, public safety or any other public service. Nobody bats an eye at the idea of Kevyn Orr abrogating collective bargaining agreements, but god forbid we would use these funds that have been earmarked for development projects on something else.
I know it's convenient to insist that the debate be constrained by which fund the money belongs to. That puts the argument on your terms and lets you call others ignorant. But the real question is whether or not this is an efficient use of public funds. Based on the substantial evidence that sports arenas are poor investments that typically have a negative ROI, the answer seems to be a resounding NO. You've conspicuously neglected to address that issue and instead chosen to hide behind the non-issue of which fund the money is held in.
Incredibly well put. Saying it's a fund that is earmarked for this, while not mentioning the originally reason for fund raising, is ignorant at best and malicious at worst. Terrible slight of hand.
Liked the Olympia, Loved the Joe, Hope to see cup finals in the new joint.
But they cannot demolish JLA fast enough. What an eyesore. A blot of ugly concrete and steel marring what could be and what should be a beautiful riverfront. I'd like to help plant the explosive charges for that demolition.
The location of JLA is far and away the best thing about it. If only the city could destroy it and build a sexy hockey arena in its place without breaking an already broken bank.
But why have a big indoor facility on the waterfront? That doesn't really take advantage of the location. Use some of the land to expand Cobo Hall (which is essential) and turn the rest into a waterfront park.
are a punk.
Please don't expect me to have anything but contempt for you, if you were never at an Original Six game, or a Hearns fight, or a concert at Olympia, and you still want to ridicule me for having done all of those things.
new arena is smaller than the joe is right now but the joe does need an upgrade. i wonder what they will do with the joe after the new stadium is opened.
of irresponsible projects they can't afford, includes bulldozing Joe Louis and expanding the convention center on the site
Most likely the property will be sold to some wealthy dude and they'll build a condo project on the riverfront.
I'm guessing they will try to incorporate it into the auto show. Maybe even combine it with Cobo.
The NAIAS has been clamoring for more room for a long time,i believe. I think the Joe is supposed to be the source of that room.
Why would they go smaller? They sell out the larger stadium...dumb move! Go Big or Go Home!!
Because not all seats are created equal. If you add twice as many suites by taking away some standing room only, upper bowl, obstructed view seats, you'll make a ton more money. I'm sure the Illitch's have done their homework in order to maximize seat revenue.
they have done their home work. That is why they hired Tom Wilson, to help build the new building. it should be done well, I hope they put the cameras in the right spots and have a press box this time. one of the things they forgot when they built the joe. I love the joe for the history, but I cant wait for the new building.
Long time coming, IMO. I loved the Joe, and there have been a lot of good times there, but it's time for an upgrade.
...this is sad. During my four years at Michigan, Wings won the Cup twice and I had the privilege of going to many playoff and Stanley Cup games at Joe. It was not the same watching Hockey back in LA at Forum and now Staples. It was the Mecca of Hockey.
I loved the Joe, and the Wings have had an incredible recent history at the rink. It's time to move on, though. This is an exciting move for Detroit. LGRW
$285 million of it will come from public funds. I'm not usually that guy, but that's obscene considering the cuts this state and the city of Detroit have made in recent years.
That is so totally ridiculous. No wonder Detroit has an Emergency Manager. Surprised he doesn't put a stop to it.
Downtown does seem to be a better place to be in the past decade or so. I bet they studied this. I'd love to see that info. Certainly hasn't been a panacea, though.
It's a private enterprise and the Wings make their owners a profit. Where would they move anyway?
Study after study has indicated that cities don't reap financial benefits from money they outlay for stadiums.
the massive financial benefits it will realize as a result of a sports team owner choosing to build the team's new arena in their City?
The Red Wings already play in Detroit, so whatever "massive benefits" they offer are already being realized.
You really think Ilitch would do that? I don't. It's an empty threat.
of dollars invested in buildings in downtown Detroit. He isn't going to do anything to hurt their value.
Can you list the benefits? Find a study that supports a city paying millions to bring in a new sports team? If so, I'd appreciate a link.
The last time I saw the plans, it didn't just include an arena, but also more bars and restaurants to surround it. I believe they are hoping to entice the Pistons into moving back to Detroit as well. More games => more spending + more jobs => more taxes. I don't think they are going to have a hard time getting their $285 million in back if everything goes according to plan.
Except this has been repeated numerous times and it doesn't work that way.
All of these narrowly focused "studies" fail to see the big picture. Are there plenty of examples of really bad publicly-funded stadium projects? Yes. Are there examples of well-executed stadium projects that have reaped countless benefits for a city? Yes. The problem is these only look at what the city makes from the stadium itself, which will always be a loss, and would be a loss to the owner without public funding.
However, look at an example like PETCO park in San Diego, located in the once run-down, sparsely populated and underdeveloped East Village neighborhood. Since PETCO was constructed in 2003, East Village up to Cortez Hill, about a mile N-S, and half mile or so east-west has completely transformed, and most of which was during one of the worst periods for real estate in recent memory. The neighborhood is now home to countless bars, over a dozen condo/apartment buildings, several hotels, retail establishments and office spaces, all of which contribute quite a bit in state and local taxes. Can this all be solely attributed to the ballpark? Maybe not, but it's naive to pretend that it was a mere coincidence. It changed an entire neighborhood of empty houses, auto emission shops and abandoned buildings into a revenue stream for the City of San Diego. I would say it was a good investment.
Will this happen in Detroit? Who is to say, but asking whether or not the stadium will make the city money is the wrong question. It's what the stadium can do to revitalize an area and build a tax base where one currently does not exist.
EDIT: TL;DR version: There are plenty of examples for and against how stadiums revitalize neighborhoods and benefit or cost the city. Hand picking a bunch of bad ones and ignoring good ones is a cheap way out of the argument. Focusing on the revenue generated by the stadium alone is also a very poor way of analyzing impact.
I think you're underestimating the depth and breadth of these studies that you've scarequoted.
Economic impact studies typically do look at economic development and the impact on tax revenue through indirect effects. They don't just add up the revenue from the stadium itself and call it a day. For instance, the University of Michigan sports economist quoted in the Atlantic article specifically talks about the limited impact sports stadiums have on economic development. There have been lots eeconomic impact studies that have overstated the benefits associated with sports stadiums (typically by ignoring or understating substititution effects) and in recent years economists have devoted more resources to debunking the costly myth that subsidizing construction of sports stadiums is good economic development policy.
Finally, I don't really think that ShockFX hand picked narrowly focused studies to support his argument. It looks more like he just took a bunch of reasonable google results and pasted them in. If he'd had more time and the inclination he could have provided references to academic studies that would pretty thoroughly debunk your claims.
You are correct, but most of these studies are trying to negate the economic impact studies done by cities, developers, contractors, etc. who are arguing in favor of stadium developments and the economic and fiscal impacts. I too believe that they are often grossly overstated and never realize the $XX billion promised in the preliminary study. There's rarely that kind of return on investment, and the economists calling them out are correct to some extent.
And I wasn't specifically calling out ShockFX's hand-picking of the links, but that often people pick really bad stadium examples to illustrate their point, as I've seen throughout this thread, and are included in some of those links. Yes, there have been a lot of stadium debacles. But there have been a lot of stadiums done right that have led to a huge returns on investment. I don't know the $ figures, but I would have to assume the City of San Diego, for instance, is well on it's way to getting back that $450M and then some, not to mention the non-monetary benefits of having a healthy and vibrant neighborhood.
There's no right answer to "are stadiums good or bad investments?" Probably more often than not, they have been bad investments, but that has more to do with the planning and execution by the city, the ownership and partners than some inherent "badness" of city-subsidized stadium projects. I guess my poorly articulated point was don't assume all of these projects are created equal because some really dumb cities fell for some really dumb projects. It's possible to have a beneficial project.
I appreciate the discussion, but would love to see the list for what stadiums this quote applies to. " But there have been a lot of stadiums done right that have led to a huge returns on investment."
I'd like to see some facts, studies, or concrete examples with numbers of these benefits, success stories, or instances where the stadium revitalized an area.
Wasn't the area near Petco just where the thresher of gentrification was going next in a city awash with wealth?
Maybe that line was over-stated, particularly since I can't really think of many other good examples (oops), not that I'm sure some don't exist. Coors Field along with PETCO is kind of the model for how to do it right. The LoDo area experienced a very similar transformation. I can't speak to the full fiscal impacts though. Target Field is probably too early to tell, but has also spurred some downtown development in Minneapolis, but from what I understand they're still not close to getting the full return on the city investment despite being well on the way.
Regarding PETCO, I don't know if I would call San Diego awash with wealth. Sure, in other parts of the city and county, the region didn't experience the same lull in development that other cities were experiencing during that same period, but East Village was not getting attention until PETCO was constructed/planned. San Diego wasn't exactly an urban playground like it is today until recently, with most money going into single-family units in greenfields and beach communities. Many would argue the park had a lot to do with this, but I am sure millennial lifestyle trends and the small turnaround in the financial market also helped.
EDIT: To add, I would argue stadiums alone don't create momentum or development, but catalyze potential development and amplify a budding trend. Most examples of bad stadium projects take the "if you build it, they will come approach" (see: Phoenix), meaning revitalization will happen. That's not always true. You have to have something already there, some momentum, much like you alluded to, that East Village was ripe for "gentrification" (though I don't know if this exactly qualifies). I would argue that the stadium catalyzed that growth. Same in Denver and Minneapolis. One could argue same with Detroit, that this will build on and catalyze the current momentum around that area, but that one is a little more difficult to sell in my opinion.
I think it's very difficult to assume that what has worked in trendy cities like San Diego and Denver will work in Detroit. You're talking about cities with steadily growing populations, that have been attracting young adults from other parts of the country for decades. Detroit needs to be compared with cities like Cleveland or New Orleans - cities that have been fighting population loss for years.
Snarling Wolverine, totally agree! I wasn't trying to defend the specific Detroit proposal, just the growing (albeit, well-reasoned) backlash against any and all public supported stadium projects. My only counter would be, correct me if I'm wrong, the area around the proposed stadium is actually growing in population (from a very low starting point), while the rest of the city is declining. So, they'll probably argue that they're building upon that momentum. I have no idea of it will work.
Are you able to find any independent study suppporting your thesis that some sports arenas yield positive benefits via economic development? Because I really think there is a right answer regarding public funding of sports arenas and it's (almost*) never.
*Apparently, the Staples center in LA may be the exception that proves the rule.
Staples is the home to 3 professional sports teams that occupy it basically nightly between October and May, and hosts concerts and the circus during other nights. Definitely an outlier in this kind of thing.
I think baseball stadiums, given the generally cheaper average cost (no roof needed most times!) and 81 games a year, and general summertime entertainment, do have the most potential for return to an area. Now, that's just my opinion, I don't actually have facts to back it up.
Coors Field was net new to the city, and I really don't know about Denver enough to chime in past that. Nor San Diego outside of what I've already posited.
Overall I feel a stadium, privately funded, is a great accelerator, but not really a good catalyst, especially when publically funded. AT&T Park in SF is privately funded, so is the new basketball arena going up there. Just gotta make the owners pony up.
Also to add to the discussion, if from what I understand is correct, this stadium would go right in downtown, which is already a pretty developed area. If the city and investors are looking to "develop" a community and a neighborhood, that's probably the last place they should locate a new stadium. There are multiple sports facilities in that area and if stadiums truly do improve the economy, that region has already reaped the benefits.
I understand the need for improvements, but I have severe doubts about pumping any government funds into a new stadium (not saying they're going to) in a region that's already developed, already has a boatload of sports facilities, and filled with governments with severe budgetary problems.
And in this case the CCDC, good urban planning, pent up development pressure and the luck to having turned over most of the neighborhood before the crash are what made the area successful.
That said, without Petco we probably wouldn't have gotten a Tilted Kilt.
" if everything goes according to plan." Public sector thinking at it's finest. That's why half of California's small cities are on the road to bankruptcy. "It's the 90s! Life is good and it will always be good! Here, let's spend some more money!"
Correct me if I'm wrong... but DETROIT HAS AN EMERGENCY FINANCIAL MANAGER, THERE ARE 100,000 VACANT HOMES AND LOTS, UNEMPLOYMENT THRU THE ROOF, etc. etc. Probably the "worst" major city in the US. And they want to spend $300 million on a stadium? Sorry, I missed the news story that said the Joe was unusable.
The fact that cities continue to get screwed over paying for stadiums for our millionaires and billionaires is only of the saddest parts of this sad country.
So instead of spending money to deal with this...
There are plans to spend money to deal with this....
If it wasn't so sad it would be funny.
So if you are Detroit, what do you do?
Accept spending money on #2 when over 50% of the cost will be paid for with private funds... #2 will then generate money for decades to help fix #1.
Or do you deny #2 and watch as a new arena is built in the suburbs causing you to lose out on all the $'s that the most successful pro sports team in your city's history will bring in.
Detroit dumped a boatload into Comerica Park and Ford Field 15 years ago, and money was never a problem in the city ever again.
Point taken, but considering they were built just before the recession, we should probably wait a bit longer to gauge the long-term economic impact on the surrounding area.
Comerica Park was built in 2000, eight years before the recession started. How long of a wait do we need? Granted, not long after it opened Kwame took office and pretty much wasted all the goodwill Dennis Archer had built up with the state and surrounding area - but there are no guarantees Detroit won't elect another guy like him in the future.
I'm in favor of a new arena, but I don't see why it requires public financing. I don't believe for a minute that Ilitch would build in the suburbs. That would go against everything he's done for decades.
Except it doesn't generate money for decades, it's NOT a net positive. Seattle is paying off $80M in bonds for the now destroyed Kingdome, for example.
Let the arena be built in the suburbs, it's not a net positive, it doesn't generate tons of revenue, and research after research backs this up. Stop subsidizing stadiums for people who are already billionaires.
Have you read the details? $450 mil for the arena, $200 mil for additional development (including renovation of 3 buildings, 150,000+ ft2 of new retail/office space, a hotel, parking structures/lots)... I think it's a bit presumptive to assume this is a net negative for Detroit soley because other cities have bad stadium/arena agreements.
They promised the same things when Ford Field was built. The only one that came to fruition was the office building, which wound up having no retail. Might be because no retail wanted to move there, but still, having the plan for all of those things aren't going to magically make it happen unless someone's willing to move their retail/hotel/restaurant in the space. There are no guarantees.
But basically what ShockFX is saying is that you can't assume an economic boom from stadium developments no matter what is built around it. For it to be a net gain, NEW spending would have to be created, which you cannot assume. Sports teams are essentially competitors with all other forms of entertainment, therefor when something new comes along, consumer spending shifts from one form of entertainment to the other (with no NEW spending).
Nailed it .
Also since JLA sells out, and the other spot has Comerica and Ford, where's all the revitalization by those spots?
+1 to you for hammering this point. The way local governments allow themselves to be fleeced by sports franchises is nauseating.
Not to mention that the revitalization of the area ultimately depends on getting people to live down there, and living next to three pro sports stadiums isn't necessarily that appealing for a lot of people.
150,000+ ft2 of new retail/office space
Is there a demand for this retail and office space? It seems like Detroit's got way more of that than it needs at the moment.
And has all his other businesses around it, and he's going to undercut all that by moving his other team to the 'burbs? Not going to happen.
Here's an idea. Rather than catering to a super wealthy family, maybe they could take that $300... and tell I don't know, a few thousand middle class families: "We'll pay for 50% of a new house if you relocate to the city of Detroit." That's what will get you long term success... not a new arena every 20 years because the owners want more luxury boxes. And how exactly is the city going to MAKE more money off the Wings than they already are now? The arena is going to be smaller (fewer people going to the game... speaking of which, how much money do you spend outside of a hockey game anyways? $10 for parking and maybe $20 for a quick bite to eat? ooooooo get that chedda' Detroit).
For all of you comparing the money for this project with things like school funding, neighborhood development, etc., you should know that the proposal substantially calls for using DDA (Downtown Development Authority) funds, which are taken directly from taxes paid on downtown properties and are for use only in that footprint.
Put plainly, there are zero connections between this project and DPS, neighborhood redevelopment, abandoned building demolition outside the CBD, etc. The money that would be spent on this project would NEVER be used for those purposes, arena or no arena.
Are you sure about that?
“The primary public funding mechanism for the $450 million center is a continuation of a projected $12.8 million-per-year property tax capture authorized by the State Legislature in December,” according to a release from the DEGC. “The DDA is also expected to contribute an average of just over $2 million per year. Olympia Development is expected to contribute $11.5 million per year. All three of those commitments would be used to retire 30-year private activity bonds issued through the Michigan Strategic Fund.
It sounds like the DDA's contribution is relatively small. The property tax capture is the largest component. Is this what the State Legislature intended when it authorized it last year?
The $12.8M-per-year is also from the DDA:
Right now, the tax money would be an estimated $12.8 million annually from Detroit's Downtown Development Authority. The cash was money the DDA collected within its district originally to pay downDetroit Public Schools bond debt, which has since been retired.
OK, I stand corrected. Still, we are talking about taking property taxes - even if obtained in an atypical manner - and using them to build a sports arena. How is it that the city can come up with these funds but can't come up with funds to replace broken streetlights? if the city/state had the political will it could use those funds for purposes other than to build an arena to line Ilitch's pockets. It took a special law to allow them to be used for this purpose.
Since it was raised to pay down debt it seems pretty clear that the funds could be spent on basically anything other than lining Illitch's pockets.
In any event, the question is whether or not this is an efficient use of public funds. Which particular account the funds technically exist in is irrelevant. If the city can completely restructure its debt and give creditors a massive haircut, there's no reason they can't shift some money around.
The Palace will be the oldest professional stadium in Detroit (ok, I know the Palace is no where near Detroit, but you get the idea!!).
It won't be if the Piston's move back downtown and share the new arena... it's always a possibility.
The Pistons are not moving back downtown for a very long time.
Why would Tom Gores want his franchise to leave an arena he owns (the Palace) for one he doesn't?
and isn't against the idea of moving downtown. Would he need to own the downtown arena, or would he be fine leasing from Illitch? I guess that's another question.
They have a perfectly fine arena. Why the hell would he PAY to rent an arena or buy land from Illitch or someone else when he already owns an excellent facility??
It's not going to happen. It makes zero financial sense for him to leave his own building.
This thread would be a lot more useful without the armchair economic developers who make an immediate, kneejerk connection between this project and Detroit's current financial situation.
I don't see how you can.
If 10,000 seats were to be added to Michigan Stadium and student tuition were to be raised slightly to cover a portion of the costs, this thread would be howling with opinions. Why should this situation differ?
Normally, I'd agree. But the "new reality" we're constantly being told we need to accept when it comes to funding education, police, etc. doesn't seem to apply to the Detroit Red Wings.
Useful for what? To keep our heads in the sand about the absolute dire situation Detroit is in? Go build your $300 million stadium while half the city crumbles, give America another laugh at Detroit's expense. The city and state governments (and the people who continue to vote these yo-yos into office) have brought this upon themselves. If this goes through, Detroit better not get any damned sympathy from 60 Minutes and the national news who so love to exalt the "glories of future Detroit".
Why doesn't the city first address the fact that 47% of Detroit residents are functionally illiterate? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/07/detroit-illiteracy-nearly-half-education_n_858307.html THAT IS 3RD WORLD COUNTRY SHIT RIGHT THERE.
Please please please name it Domino's Arena. That would be the sweetest poetry.
Little Caesar's Palace is the best one I have heard
Wasn't that what they called those old Discovery Zone-type Little Caesar's pizza joint/playground/arcade combinations in the late 80s-early 90s?
....courtesy of Crain's Detroit Business (LINK).
Here's the projected improvement in team revenue:
"A new arena, which would replace the aging Joe Louis Arena, could generate $5 million to $8 million annually in additional team revenue, sports industry insiders have told Crain's."
According to the photo in this article, the area is bracketed by Woodward Avenue, Cass Avenue and Temple, which is just north of I-75, right near the Masonic and Cass Tech. You would definitely have a nice view from Comerica.
Some of the other items in the memorandum are interesting - it's supposedly a concession agreement, with the Wings' fee being $11.5 million annually. The DDA will pay a $62 million fee for tax capture if Olympia pays for another $200 million on additional projects.
This is how a public-private partnership should work here. SF is agreeing to a long term lease of publically owned land, but the team is bearing all the risk past that.
The new arena would not require any money from the city's general fund or new taxes, Lee and team officials said. "At the end of the day, our investment group is financially responsible for building this," Lacob said. "And it will be done." The team will have to overcome a number of hurdles, however, before its waterfront arena hosts an NBA game. For starters, there is the sad state of Piers 30-32, which despite its plural name is actually one dock. The Warriors believe it will cost as much as $100 million to make the pier capable of supporting a massive arena. The Warriors are proposing to put up all the costs in exchange for a long-term lease to the site. The team hopes to recoup the money eventually in the form of rent credits from the port or other givebacks, and from having sole access to the arena's revenue stream.
I quickly drew up a sketch of the entire area they are trying to redevelop as well as where the arena would be located.
Cass Tech is right in the middle of that block FYI
Which block is "that" block?
Main entrance is at 3rd and Leyard.
That also includes the prime parking location for both Tigers and Lions games.
I understand the sentiment behind the "Detroit needs funds spent elsewhere" and "stadiums don't make money" arguments. Detroit is in a very sad state - heartbreaking, really.
But it seems a bit short-sighted to be attacking this project out-of-hand in light of a few factors. First, cities need attractions and landmarks. If Detroit wants to attract any visitors, it needs some good venues in its city limits.
Second (and related to the first), how do you measure whether it's cash-positive? Some colleagues of mine refuse to live in a city that does not have good professional sports facilities, and plenty of folks feel the same way. Good arenas enhance a city's reputation and image, and Detroit definitely needs an image makeover. And who says that every civic project needs to be cash-positive to be justified?
Third, healthy cynicism may be warranted toward Detroit in general, but it seems unfair to immediately question Mike Ilitch and his motives. The man has put a shit-ton of money into Detroit, when he could very well have packed up his riches and moved to the suburbs (or relocated out of Michigan). His prior projects have enhanced the city - look at The Fox district, in addition to Comerica. He's been a leading light in a city without too many of those.
There are lots of ways to measure the value of a new arena. I'm inclined to have some faith that Ilitch is not holding the city up for personal gain. That's not been his history, and I am grateful for all he's done for a crumbling, but in many ways wonderful, city.
I think the skepticism here is grounded in three points:
1) Joe Louis Arena is not that old and still a functional venue for pro hockey. It's not crumbling to pieces like Tiger Stadium was, nor is it out of the way like the Silverdome. Nor does it have trouble drawing fans.
2) If the Wings don't get this arena, they'll presumably just stay at the Joe - there is no particular reason to believe they'd move out of the city. Moreover, the proposed site is only a mile away from their current location.
3) The Pistons seem unlikely to move downtown.
The third one is pivotal. If Ilitch could get the Pistons to sign on, then that changes things a lot because then the city would reap a visible benefit - just from the NBA regular season alone there'd be another 41 nights of a substantial visitor presence downtown. But I don't see why the Pistons would bother, given that their ownership also owns the Palace, so it has a vested interest in seeing that arena prosper.
If they can build the arena with private funds, sure, but I question the use of public money here. The city really can't afford that right now.
and rental agreements go, the Red Wings current deal with Detroit is terrible. The facility is probably one of the worst 3 or 4 in the NHL, all things being relative. You are correct there is nothing physically wrong with the building, just the lack of modern ammenities and more importantly close to the ice $uites which can generate huge revenue.
The Wings had a 30 year lease which ran out in 2009, they've been year to year with Detroit since and in 2008 made very public the idea that they would need a new arena with a more favorable rental agreement or they would consider moving to the suburbs or even The Palace.
Blow hard leverage or not, the City of Detroit can not let the Wings simply walk to the 'burbs
Hey, I understand why Ilitch wants a new arena. I know the Joe isn't that great at generating revenue. But it's harder to come up with a convincing argument for the fans. The new arena will have fewer seats, which will be further away from the action (to accommodate more suites) and tickets will cost more money than they do now. That's the reality of any new pro stadium.
These facts are also true of Comerica Park and Ford Field. But there, there were legitimate reasons for fans to buy in. I loved Tiger Stadium but it was falling apart. The Silverdome is a piece of garbage and is not in a convenient location for a lot of fans. But what's the knock on the Joe for the average fan? It's still in pretty good shape and it's already downtown.
If the main argument for public financing here is that the Wings might move to the suburbs, I'm not sold. Exactly which suburbs are itching to spend $300 million of taxpayer money on an arena? Not to mention that it would make no sense for Ilitch, who's invested a ton downtown, to pack up and leave. If he wants a new building, fine, but he's got to find a more creative way to pay for it.
I tend to agree with EM above -- without concerts and sporting events, there's not much drawing people downtown Detroit. As to the points above, I would say that it's not just about creating a new hockey arena. The Joe may be still functional for hockey, but the complex (including the parking lots, walkways, etc.) is a huge eyesore and blocks a lot of the waterfront space that could be put to use for a lot of other purposes, including an expanded convention center that would bring in more visitors. Plus, the new development looks (at least from the initial plans) to involve a lot more than just building a stand-alone arena. Having seen what new developments like this can do in other cities (Verizon Center area in DC; Coors field area here in Denver; etc.), I'm excited to see what it might turn into. Nothing is guaranteed obviously, but at least there's news of new development in Detroit, which is a positive, I think.
I would heartily disagree with your points 1 and 2.
We can agree to disagree on point #1 - I think the atmosphere in a new arena (which will have fewer seats in a much larger interior space) is going to be a lot worse than it currently is at the Joe, but whatever.
But what's your disagreement on #2? Where are the Wings going to go if this deal falls through? What suburb wants to spend $300M on an arena?
Detroit will eventually be better, the current timing is bad, but the wings have been long long long term fixtures of the city, and all parties believe they'll be better off. The funding comes from properties whose values may rise as a result. I think this is a fair deal for all. I doubt Orr will intervene. In FTC, the cost of the new arena is not all that high because property in Detroit is cheap. I think there's enough upside, history, and pride to make both the economic and soft arguments work.
I don't think anyone has a problem with the facility being built. They have a problem with the city using public dollars to subsidize it's construction. Now, there's no way to know for certain that it won't be a net positive, but the consensus among economists (based on decades of research) is that sports arenas typically do not lead to enough economic development to yield a net positive ROI.
Furthermore, there's something really disgusting about billionaires threatening to move to the suburbs (or out of state) if they don't receive subsidies for their profitable business. That's crazy. They sell tickets to people for money; they're not running a charity and shouldn't receive a dime of public funds. I'm not accusing Illitch of making any threats but I think it's ridiculous that this is even being considered.
Is this serious? People actually think like this??
The Joe is a dump, glad this new arena is going to happen. Bathrooms are terrible, concourse is tiny, lacks amenities, the list goes on and on.
Don't like the public funding but that's pretty close to standard in these days.
Well, his colleagues are professional athletes, so it makes sense.
Well I'm glad a bankrupt city is spending $300 million to make sure hockey fans have access to nice bathrooms.
Seems like a good investment when 47% of the city's residents are illiterate: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/07/detroit-illiteracy-nearly-half-education_n_858307.html
And only 25% of HS freshman will graduate: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11601692
At least there are cheap homes, since the average price of a home in Detroit? $7,500: http://www.couriermail.com.au/realestate/homes-for-1/story-fnczc1bg-1226559204461
Though no one seems to want to live in the city: http://www.freep.com/article/20130214/NEWS01/130214044/Bing-unveils-Pulte-partnership-to-tear-down-abandoned-homes-buildings
Probably because it's the second most dangerous city in the US and getting worse: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/31/detroit-murder-rate-2012_n_2388862.html
Which isn't going to help the fact that the city is insolvent: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22514588
And is currently DEFAULTING on debts: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22914431
I challenge anyone to read this simple Wikipedia article and say that a new hockey arena is the best way to spend $300 million: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decline_of_Detroit
Hell, who is going to loan them any money and at what rate?
Keep on trolling, you magnificent 15 year old boy.
By the way, you have very nice googling skills! You earn an mgogoldstar today!
Detroit is a joke. I don't know why anyone would choose to live in that shithole. You know how most cities have a few areas of 10X10 block areas that are no-go areas? Detroit has ONE 10X10 area that you can walk around in. With a cop every 20 feet. It's a joke and I feel terrible for anyone forced to live in that dump. If you all are honestly supporting this idiotic decision, you deserve more of the same. Keep that population dropping 20% every half decade. Elect corrupt officials. Honestly, Detroit is East St. Louis on a massive scale... the entire city is shittier than the bad areas of most cities. If you can't realize that you haven't seen what a normal city looks like.
You are just a treasure to this community.
My family was once in business with Illitch. The man is all about personal gain. He isn't Jay Gould but his business ethics are definitely in question. The man lives to make a profit.
Honestly, I'm sorry to be an asshole about the situation, but I feel as though it is warranted. The only question that should be posed in while Detroit is this the financial situation is whether this is the best way to spend the limit resources the city has at its "disposal" right now. I think, and I would hope that many others would think this way as well, that there are MANY more dire and pressing issues the city needs to address before providing a new arena (with "planned" extras) to a team which isn't hurting. Has attendance been impacted at all by the supposed problems with the Joe? No.
If anyone can give any statistics or evidence that shows that Detroit (the Wings) NEED a new arena, I'd love to see it and if the reasoning was compelling, I could change my mind. So far, nothing has proven to me that a new arena is a more worthwhile investment than putting the money towards social services, the police, education, or anything that would serve the residents of Detroit. Point me to a Rust Belt town that has been rejuvinated by stadium projects and I will certainly consider this project as a good move.
Nice new place for the wings. Well deserved.
I haven't seen this mentioned yet, but this stuff is literally the curriculum for Professor Needs A Raise, Mark Rosentraub.
I saw Frank Sinatra in concert at the Joe back in 1981. The man was a master showman.
Like I have over the past 3.5 years would realize how much downtown has turned around and how this development (providing the pistons are lured) is the key to making the whole area work all week long.
Nights there isn't a wings or tigers game the city shuts down. If the pistons are in the new arena the. You have 4-5 nights a week there are sporting events with other nights having other events. This means people will be in the area more than once or twice a week. Bars and restaurants can be staffed full time along with stores and other office space.
This complex would link downtown to midtown, especially with the light rail
The studies cited above can be thrown out if you get the pistons involved
Try finding a quality place to live in downtown or midtown. Occupancy rates are at 100% and new buildings are going up/ planned. The amount if people that have moved into the core if the city is what gets this place turned around.
What excites me the most about this project is the link it will provide between Midtown and Downtown. And when you look at that footprint, it's going to do wonders for the neighborhood around the Masonic Temple, which has been needing a boost like this for decades. I'm especially heartened that George Jackson seemed so careful to emphasize the fact that this will be an urban development, not a suburban campus. No arena set in the middle of a sea of parking lots. They want filled space and connetivity with what's around it. That's a huge step in the right direction for a guy who has singlehandedly helped Ilitch Holdings do the exact opposite on the other side of the freeway for 15 years.
Really, if you set aside the arguments about where the money is coming from and just look at what this proposal says it will do in terms of renovations and new building infill alone, there's a lot to be cautiously optimistic about. We'll see if Olympia follows through on their promises here, but I like what I'm hearing so far.
DDA could still do everything but the stadium to create that link. If the DDA was funding the office space, apts, retail space, and the team was 100% funding the stadium, there would be no quarrel. It's the mixing of funds that's the issue.
Seriously, if the press release headline was "Illitches to fully fund new stadium", and the DDA was funding the rest, the response would be GLOWING. But since instead the DDA is being used for a billionaire to pay less for a stadium in order to charge the average fan MORE to attend the game, not so much.
I'm not sure why a hockey arena needs to be the linchpin of all that development anyway. People, by and large, don't like living by sports stadiums because of all the noise and traffic they generate. If you put three of them right next to each other, you're asking residents to put up with an awful lot of noise and traffic over the course of the year. There's also the question of where people are going to park and tailgate if this arena takes up a lot of that space.
According to the presser today, the plan is to include a parking structure in the complex, not surface lots. Which, when added to the already-ample stadium parking within walking distance of the arena site, is probably more than sufficient for everything.
Honestly, I don't know how you can complain about replacing surface lots with buildings, considering how much of the Central Business District is parking and vacant lots as it is. If you can fill some space rather than sustain extant surface lot parking, and replace those spaces with a structure, it's a no-brainer.
I would think so too, but as I mentioned above, it has worked in some cities. The area around the Caps/Wizards arena in DC was kind of dumpy, but is now filled with restaurants/condos/etc. Granted, that's DC, where space is limited, and there's no guarantee it will work in Detroit, but it might. At least it's better than just the stadium alone like when Comerica/Ford Field were done. Also, I think the redevelopment of the JLA space could be really cool if done right.
Totally get the "this money could be better used for city services" argument, and that's probably true, but based on past actions, that doesn't seem like it would have happened either way, so this (in my mind) is better than nothing.
how this development (providing the pistons are lured) is the key to making the whole area work all week long.
There's the problem. How are they going to lure the Pistons, when the Pistons' owner owns the Palace? He can't possibly get a better deal in the new building. Owning the Palace means that he effectively pays zero rent and keeps 100% of the arena's revenues. In this new arena he'd get no more than 50% of the revenue, and probably less. Not to mention that pulling the Pistons out of the Palace would seriously hurt the Palace's own profitability (unless it can book 41+ more concerts a year). It would be lose-lose for Gores.
We have to assume that the Pistons aren't coming. Then what? Does the math still make sense?
A shame Illitch couldn't save the Pistons. By the time that incompetent douchebag Gores is done with them, they'll be relocated to Seattle.
They've been playing for nearly the last decade like they were exiled to Bolivian.
Could a new stadium make Detroit an even More attractive place to play for big time free agents?
I will definitely miss the Joe. My best memory was when my whole family went to see the Wings play Washington where the Wings won in OT 5-4, and Fedorov had all 5 goals. Most exciting game I've ever been to.