One of the NHL's original-six teams will be moving, albeit within the city, as the Detroit Red Wings are headed from Joe Louis Arena to a new arena in 2017. The move is expected to generate $1.8 billion in economic impact.
In addition to the brand new facility, Red Wings owner Michael Ilitch and his real estate company, Olympic Development of Michigan, will also provide more perks for the fans. The company plans to renovate an area in the city to create a "world-class sports and entertainment district." The Phoenix Coyotes have a similar complex in Glendale, Arizona that has a slew of amenities called, Westgate City Center. If Red Wings fans were looking for any sort of inkling as to how the new district will turn out, the one in Phoenix was dubbed as having "changed the city."
But the move isn't so cut and dry. While Ilitch and his team is willing to put forth $200 million for the project, the plan to have an additional $450 million provided by taxpayers has drawn criticism. However, the Michigan Strategic Fund board has already approved up to $450 million in state-issued bonds for the project. No money will be taken from the state's general fund.
In a press release, Ilitch claims the project will create more than 8,000 construction jobs and over 1,000 permanent jobs in the city.
“It’s always been my dream to see a vibrant and energized downtown Detroit,” Ilitch said. “I want people to look at Detroit’s new sports and entertainment district and see what I see: the potential for something very special.”
A look what will be the new "District" around $650 million Detroit Red Wings arena and entertainment development. pic.twitter.com/phrTqNsqbe— Eric Lacy (@EricLacy) July 20, 2014
In total, the Red Wings new arena is projected to cost $650 million, and will sit more than 20,000 people.