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I see where mb is coming from. I can appreciate that Mr. I has put his business ventures in the city. He could have built Comerica in Livonia or Novi. But on the other hand, every time one of these business ventures comes up, we hear how it's going to boost the city. But is Detroit in any better shape now?

As a sports fan, I like having an owner who is willing to spend. But is he spending for "me", the fan, or is he spending to satisfy his own desire for a World Series or for the financial windfall that will come from it? Ilitch is often lauded for how well he treats his "employees", meaning the players. But does he go above and beyond for the people making those crappy pizzas or those poor people at the Joe who have to tend to the restrooms? I don't think so. I don't think he's a horrible person for buying buildings and using them as parking lots, but I also don't think he's quite the saint either.

FWIW, I find the stadium funding comparison between the USA and Canada to be quite interesting. Big business isn't supposed to want the government involved in anything...except when its to make them more money. Then they want the handouts.

I've had season tickets at Comerica since it opened and since 2006 when I moved to my current location we've had the same ushers, same beer vendors, and I see other familair faces for a number of years so I imagine they are at least content with their jbos.

Of course he's spending for himself... he's the one who spent $80 million to buy it and much more since then. Why is that bad? He's a business man and I enjoy his product to the point where it's my only real hobby. I don't expect a personalized Christmas card every year.

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I've had season tickets at Comerica since it opened and since 2006 when I moved to my current location we've had the same ushers, same beer vendors, and I see other familair faces for a number of years so I imagine they are at least content with their jbos.

Of course he's spending for himself... he's the one who spent $80 million to buy it and much more since then. Why is that bad? He's a business man and I enjoy his product to the point where it's my only real hobby. I don't expect a personalized Christmas card every year.

I've never said that it was a bad thing of that he shouldn't do it. But there's often an infernece that somehow Mike Ilitch is some sort of superior person for "investing in the city".

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I've never said that it was a bad thing of that he shouldn't do it. But there's often an infernece that somehow Mike Ilitch is some sort of superior person for "investing in the city".

Exactly.

He's a business man who took a risk and has reaped large rewards. Let's put the talk of sainthood to rest.

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I do not think it was an over reaction at all.

'Likely go bankrupt' in 2013 is not the same as going bankrupt in 2003. Maybe it gets to that or maybe they get things cleaned up.

None of those things on their own were supposed to 'save the city'...all of those things together combined with other things happening now and in the near future MAY very well 'save the city', but to use your quote 'nice overreaction'.

I do not want Detroit 'to rot' just like I would not want the city I live in to 'rot'...I am sure you do not want the city you live in to 'rot'.

The culture of ineptness is being addressed. I am as frustrated with the council and the old mayor etc etc as anyone else, but I am not putting it ALL on the city and the people who live/work down there.

I am glad you can afford to pay above average wages. Are these people you are paying above average wages for, 16 year old teenagers? I do not go to Little Caesars very often, but when I do the people working there are teenagers. How much above average are you paying? I do not know how much Illitch is paying the kids working in his pizza shops (he does not own every Little Caesars BTW and some are independently owned so...), but maybe he IS also paying 'above average'?

I have little to no confidence that balancing the budget or declaring bankruptcy will in away change the culture of corruption, racism and the sense of entitlement that seems to exist in the city. I have no memory whatsoever of a thriving, vibrant city of Detroit and don't ever see it happening in my lifetime and feel no sense of obligation to do anything to help the city succeed. I have no doubt that if somehow Kwame could get out of his prison sentence, he'd be re-elected. He clearly never did anything wrong, it's just the white people out to get him.

The casinos have been built and are successful, Comerica and Ford Field have been up and operating for years, the SuperBowl has been here, the All Star game, the Final Four, the Grand Prix, but what has changed? There's a few small pockets of decent areas, but overall the city is a dump, vacant buildings everywhere, you can't get an ambulance or a police car to respond, the schools are a disaster, Belle Isle, you know, that city jewel that Whitey Massa Snider is trying to steal from the poor citizens of Detroit is a wasteland....and one more arena is going to change all that? I'm not seeing it. Lord Stanley is right. The economic windfall that new stadiums are supposed to bring to the city is just another marketing ploy by successful business people. I can't imagine why any public funds would be used for such a project.

I never suggested that the kids at LC or the Toilet Tong workers at the Joe should get $20 an hour. But Ilitch is often commended for how well he treats his employees. But I don't think he treats those down at the lower end of the food chain as well as he treats the professional athletes based on what I have heard, but do not know it to be fact.

Just a wild guess, but I'm pretty sure Mike Ilitch is in a better financial position than I am to pay his employees. The nature of my business is not conducive to hiring teenagers. For comparison, others in my field hire girls right out of high school and pay $8/hr. I prefer more experienced mature professionals and the lowest salary for the same position is $17/hr and the highest is $22/hr. with benefits (all are part time). The low turnover rate, not having to be constantly placing ads, interviewing and training,not having to worry about staff showing up for work, not having to deal with complaints about an unqualified staff.....It's worth the extra investment for me on a personal and professional level.

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The City is in no position to spend money on an arena. If Ilitch really believed that it would generate so much profit, he'd just pay for the whole thing himself and reap those profits for himself.

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Perhaps I've been out of the loop for too long, but can someone please explain to me how Detroit, a city that very well could declare bankruptcy at some point in the near future, can afford to make this sort of investment? Especially, as lordstanley has pointed out in this thread, there is overwhelming evidence that stadiums are generally losing propositions for municipal governments?

I mean, we talk anecdotes all we want and how the same beer vendor has been employed for X years, but the fact of the matter is that the overall cost-benefit of building the stadiums is an economic loser. That's something the City of Detroit can't afford right now.

Like Holygoat said, if Ilitch believes its a windfall, he should just build it with his own money. It's almost criminal to try to get money out of a city like Detroit for a sports venue right now.

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Perhaps I've been out of the loop for too long, but can someone please explain to me how Detroit, a city that very well could declare bankruptcy at some point in the near future, can afford to make this sort of investment? Especially, as lordstanley has pointed out in this thread, there is overwhelming evidence that stadiums are generally losing propositions for municipal governments?

I mean, we talk anecdotes all we want and how the same beer vendor has been employed for X years, but the fact of the matter is that the overall cost-benefit of building the stadiums is an economic loser. That's something the City of Detroit can't afford right now.

Like Holygoat said, if Ilitch believes its a windfall, he should just build it with his own money. It's almost criminal to try to get money out of a city like Detroit for a sports venue right now.

I thought that LordStanley said that the economic benefits are overblown, not that they were losing propositions?

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Perhaps I've been out of the loop for too long, but can someone please explain to me how Detroit, a city that very well could declare bankruptcy at some point in the near future, can afford to make this sort of investment? Especially, as lordstanley has pointed out in this thread, there is overwhelming evidence that stadiums are generally losing propositions for municipal governments?

I mean, we talk anecdotes all we want and how the same beer vendor has been employed for X years, but the fact of the matter is that the overall cost-benefit of building the stadiums is an economic loser. That's something the City of Detroit can't afford right now.

Like Holygoat said, if Ilitch believes its a windfall, he should just build it with his own money. It's almost criminal to try to get money out of a city like Detroit for a sports venue right now.

It's Wayne County paying it, not Detroit.

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The public portion is about $280 million. The DDA will own the arena and they say no city or county general fund money will be used. The DDA collects property taxes on entities within its district and by law has to reinvest that money withn the district on development. The Michigan strategic fund will issue bonds.

The point I raised about the beer vendors wasn't about the viability of the project but about ilitch and the tigers as an employer.

I can already see the marches as peoples pensions shrink as we're building a new arena but they are separate issues. People invest to make money. Without that profit incentive there's no money there. Its not robbing pensions to do this.

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The public portion is about $280 million. The DDA will own the arena and they say no city or county general fund money will be used. The DDA collects property taxes on entities within its district and by law has to reinvest that money withn the district on development. The Michigan strategic fund will issue bonds.

The point I raised about the beer vendors wasn't about the viability of the project but about ilitch and the tigers as an employer.

I can already see the marches as peoples pensions shrink as we're building a new arena but they are separate issues. People invest to make money. Without that profit incentive there's no money there. Its not robbing pensions to do this.

Even better. I'm also pretty certain they'll sell the naming rights for 50-100 million dollars. Who gets those funds?

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I thought that LordStanley said that the economic benefits are overblown, not that they were losing propositions?

That depends on the amount of public funds invested. At $285mm, I am sure that it would be a losing proposition. At $75mm, decent chance that economic benefits could exceed that.

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The public portion is about $280 million. The DDA will own the arena and they say no city or county general fund money will be used. The DDA collects property taxes on entities within its district and by law has to reinvest that money withn the district on development. .

A bad investment is a bad investment. If the economic benefits are going to be less than $285mm, then it would be better to either lower/ refund property taxes being collected or else spend the collected property taxes on other developments.

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The 285 million isn't just going to the arena. It's also to develop residential, retail and commercial space.

Right... this isn't just an arena being built. Looking at the big picture this can go a long way to the linking of downtown to midtown.

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The 285 million isn't just going to the arena. It's also to develop residential, retail and commercial space.

The retail space is the size of 1 grocery store, I've heard.

And as for office space, I didn't realize the city had a shortage. Ok, here I am being a little flippant. As there is a chance that businesses might prefer to locate in a nice new facility in a thriving district rather than locate in the suburbs or out of state. But commercial office development is a classic capitalist decision - governments outside of North Korea aren't expected to be in that game.

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The retail space is the size of 1 grocery store, I've heard.

And as for office space, I didn't realize the city had a shortage. Ok, here I am being a little flippant. As there is a chance that businesses might prefer to locate in a nice new facility in a thriving district rather than locate in the suburbs or out of state. But commercial office development is a classic capitalist decision - governments outside of North Korea aren't expected to be in that game.

Actually Detroit does have a shortage of class A office space. Most of the buildings are nearing 100 years old and would be classified as class B office space. Downtown residential is over 90% filled and rents are going through the roof.

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Actually Detroit does have a shortage of class A office space. Most of the buildings are nearing 100 years old and would be classified as class B office space. Downtown residential is over 90% filled and rents are going through the roof.

Cool, sounds like a good opportunity for a private developer.

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http://www.crainsdetroit.com/mobile/article/20130619/NEWS/130619810?X-IgnoreUserAgent=1

That outlines it. As for naming rights I guess it comes down to whether its the owner of the arena or the operator of the arena that gets that money.

From the Cranes article: "Under the deal, Olympia keeps all revenue generated by the arena, including concessions and parking, and all money from any naming rights deal."

Cool, sounds like a good opportunity for a private developer.

That's what I'm saying. Any time someone tells me that the government needs to invest in this or that development because it's sure to be so profitable, I can't help but imagine that if it were such a slam-dunk proposal, some private investor would have already been on it.

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I'm pretty sure that without all the other stuff, the retail, offices, etc. that there's no way the DDA gets involved in a hockey arena.

Are you saying Stanley that entities like the DDA shoudn't be used at all? You mentioned the size of a "grocery" store... those are pretty big. I could see 100 single story urban retail outfits that would fit into a grocery store. Have you looked at the map? That's a large are... bigger than a grocery store. Look at the footprint of Comerica Park and Ford FIeld and imagine the hockey arena being smaller.... that's a large area of development.

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Are you saying Stanley that entities like the DDA shoudn't be used at all?

In most cases in most cities, no they shouldn't be used. From my experience, development agencies in Canada and U.S waste funds, are not as accountable as they should be, and make more poor economic/stimulus decisions than not. To me, they are examples of far left-wing economics. Detroit is such a special case that I do acknowledge that a development agency and some public funding might be necessary as incentives before the city builds momentum. In other words, lose a bit of money on this investment if it will lead to attracting other projects that can stand on their own. But $285mm isn't the right number. Offer Ilitch $75mm. He could still make it work, he might just have to think a little harder, work harder and be creative.

Edited by lordstanley

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And if you're investing $285mm representing 44% of a project, you expect a board seat at the table when it comes to important decisions involving the business. But that's not how the NHL works. Do you think any of those jurisdictions or their taxpayers that had contributed public monies towards hockey arena were consulted during lockout talks? Noooooo. Suddenly that was a private matter between the NHL and the NHLPA.

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I thought that LordStanley said that the economic benefits are overblown, not that they were losing propositions?

My bad... that having been said, they can be both. The literature on this subject points to publicly financed stadiums being losing propositions.

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I have little to no confidence that balancing the budget or declaring bankruptcy will in away change the culture of corruption, racism and the sense of entitlement that seems to exist in the city. I have no memory whatsoever of a thriving, vibrant city of Detroit and don't ever see it happening in my lifetime and feel no sense of obligation to do anything to help the city succeed. I have no doubt that if somehow Kwame could get out of his prison sentence, he'd be re-elected. He clearly never did anything wrong, it's just the white people out to get him.

The casinos have been built and are successful, Comerica and Ford Field have been up and operating for years, the SuperBowl has been here, the All Star game, the Final Four, the Grand Prix, but what has changed? There's a few small pockets of decent areas, but overall the city is a dump, vacant buildings everywhere, you can't get an ambulance or a police car to respond, the schools are a disaster, Belle Isle, you know, that city jewel that Whitey Massa Snider is trying to steal from the poor citizens of Detroit is a wasteland....and one more arena is going to change all that? I'm not seeing it. Lord Stanley is right. The economic windfall that new stadiums are supposed to bring to the city is just another marketing ploy by successful business people. I can't imagine why any public funds would be used for such a project.

I never suggested that the kids at LC or the Toilet Tong workers at the Joe should get $20 an hour. But Ilitch is often commended for how well he treats his employees. But I don't think he treats those down at the lower end of the food chain as well as he treats the professional athletes based on what I have heard, but do not know it to be fact.

Just a wild guess, but I'm pretty sure Mike Ilitch is in a better financial position than I am to pay his employees. The nature of my business is not conducive to hiring teenagers. For comparison, others in my field hire girls right out of high school and pay $8/hr. I prefer more experienced mature professionals and the lowest salary for the same position is $17/hr and the highest is $22/hr. with benefits (all are part time). The low turnover rate, not having to be constantly placing ads, interviewing and training,not having to worry about staff showing up for work, not having to deal with complaints about an unqualified staff.....It's worth the extra investment for me on a personal and professional level.

I see the positive for the future of the city is all. Is it all unicorns and rainbows? Of course not, but I would rather hope the city can turn itself around and honestly think it has a good chance.

I do not think Belle Isle is a dump.

My general feelings on the whole thing are close to your thoughts on it....again, I just decided to try and stay positive about it and I can really see the possibility of the city coming back. 20-30 years down the line.

It took 50 years to FINALLY realize there was a problem and to start addressing it...they (government etc) waited WAAAY too long, but better late than never. It will not happen over night...nor will it happen in 10 years (Superbowl, casinos etc etc) ESPECIALLY with a corrupt *** mayor JUST getting knocked out of office.

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isn't it incorrect to say they're spending $285 million in public funding to finance a hockey arena? The hockey arena is just one piece of the entire project.

How many events does JLA have in a year? I would assume the new arena would have more than that. It's not just hockey.

I can understand the idea that no public money should be used for this stuff but right now we do have a DDA and they are and still do collect taxes from businesses to do this type of thing so if it's going to be done then I'd like it to be done on big projects like this. Right now we have a bunch of empty lots and buildings in that area and we have good activity north and south. Are there alternatives to using that money?

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