Skip to comments.Most Broke, Liberal City Spending Half Billion on Hockey Arena
Posted on 08/01/2013 12:27:33 AM PDT by Impala64ssa
Weve all heard about Detroits bankruptcy as bleeding-heart economists plead for a bailout from Uncle Sam. Yet, the city of Detroit intends to move forward with its contribution to the Redwings new hockey arena.
According to CNN, the city plans to spend $444 million of Michigan taxpayers money on the facility, despite hour-long police delays and shutting off 40 percent of its street lights to save money. To borrow from The Simpsons character Mr. Burns, Detroit plans to use taxpayer funds to help a billionaire build a private playground for millionaires. Team owner Mike Ilitch is only worth $2.4 billion these days, so the city clearly needs to finance his every need during this tough time.
Lets not forget that the average hockey fan is rather well off, either. According to CNBC, hockey fans have a higher average household income than any other major sport at $104,000. Thats about twice the national average of under $53,000. Combine that with Detroits blight and economic woes and chances are slim the average Redwings fan lives within city limits.
While proponents argue this investment is necessary, lets call it what it is: corporate welfare. The tired we need jobs argument doesnt pan out, as the construction needs will be temporary and the existing stadium already provides jobs. The move is little more than padding a billionaires wallet so he and his millionaire players can make more money off entertaining upper middle-class suburbanites.
So, Americas most liberal city intends to keep spending recklessly, making the Obama Administrations current stance all the more important. The Administrations decision not to bail the city out may very well be the best of its second term. Lets hope it sticks with it.
That’s why I didn’t vote for him (not in the primary nor the general).
At LEAST the Detroit Red Wings WIN the Stanley Cup every now and then! They can be called a “good” team that MIGHT justify SOME tax payer expenditures, but the Joe Louis Arena is still pretty new. Why build and even newer one?
There is no justification whatsoever to build a new Ice arena.
The Detroit Lions football team, on the other hand, left the old Tiger stadium (which was a GREAT place) in 1976 for the modern, expensive “Silver Dome” in Pontiac. They played and of course LOST there, I think for 20 consecutive seasons!
After that stadium fiasco, they built “Ford Field”, again, using taxpayer funds. The Lions have been losing there, I think since 2005?
What possible justification can there be for even building that Ford Field? The Lions have been on a losing steak since 1957!!!!
MAYBE if they made it to the playoffs, or even, G-d forbid, to a Superbowl (it will never happen as long as the team is owned by the Ford family) then MAYBE a new stadium is in order but not until Hell freezes over.
Correction, lost there for 30, not 20 consecutive seasons...
The money is coming from the rest of Michigan
“The money is coming from the rest of Michigan”
Ah, you have answered my question, which was: why would a bankruptcy court allow this to go forward? But, it’s rather like putting courting clothes on a corpse.
All rulers know the masses must have bread and circuses.
The giant new arena will provide both. Bread for the contractors and a circus for the well heeled folks who live around Detroit.
The Michigan Strategic Fund will issue 30-year bonds to cover the arena's capital costs, and those bonds will be paid off via:
Over the lease of 35 years this is a commitment to return almost double the bond value. Revitalizing the arena district is a proper outcome.
Luxury box sales to corporate sponsors make the whole economic structure of a modern sports league work. If your facility doesn't have them, your team is at a big financial disadvantage.
It isn't the fat guy in Section 202, row 17, seat 8 who keeps the team solvent. They could play profitably to half-empty stadiums as long as the luxury boxes are sold out.