Detroit City Council To Discuss New Red Wings Arena Deal
DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - The Detroit City Council has called a special session Friday to discuss a management agreement for a Detroit Red Wings sports arena and entertainment complex just outside downtown.
Council members also are expected to consider changing the city code to add property to Detroit’s Downtown Development District.
Expansion of the district’s boundaries is a step needed for plans for the new arena to move forward. The Wings would move from Joe Louis Arena to the new facility, which would seat 18,000 for hockey and other events.
The Detroit Downtown Development Authority last Friday approved the management deal with Olympia Development. Olympia Development is owned by the Ilitch family, which also owns the hockey team.
The Michigan Strategic Fund would issue $450 million in bonds to build the multipurpose events center.
The plan by Olympia Development — which officials say would be supported by 56 percent in private money and 44 percent in public funding — includes an 18,000-seat Red Wings arena along Woodard Avenue, just north of the Fox Theatre. That’s north of I-75, nearby the Detroit Tigers’ Comerica Park and the Detroit Lions’ Ford Field.
Plans for the entertainment district also include housing, office, retail space and parking decks.
Under the plan, Joe Louis Arena — the current home of the Wings — will be torn down. Assuming all goes well, the arena is expected to be ready for the Red Wings by 2016 or 2017.
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