The Red Wings Need A New Arena, But….

We now know the location and the expected cost of a new Detroit Red Wings and we also know who is paying for it.  YOU!

Yes, the Red Wing’s need a new stadium, they are playing in the pretty unmemorable (is that a word) Joe Louis Arena, which is a dump and will always be a dump unworthy of one of the top franchises in sports.  The concourses are painfully small, the bathroom lines are absolutely ridiculous and the locker-room facilities are second rate.  It is time to move forward with a dazzling new arena for the Red Wings.

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I like almost everything about this deal.  I like the location, the overall project goal and the fact that the Wings get a new building.  What I don’t like is the fact that public funds are going to be used to build it.  I just don’t see how a city on the verge of bankruptcy is going to contribute to a new play-pen for Mike Illitch.  I understand everything that Mike has done and means to the city, but he has been given his share of tax breaks over the years for his efforts.

The Illitch family is worth over $2.7 billion, there isn’t any reason he can’t raise private funds to build this stadium himself, hell he could write the check himself.  Asking the area to support a billionaire just doesn’t make any sense to me, at all.  Of course he will not own the stadium outright, but that is just semantics, he will reap all the rewards and it will shoot the value of his franchise through the roof.

One other little issue is the fact that the stadium is being downsized from 20,000 seats to only 18,000 seats.  Why?  To increase demand on the tickets and drive the prices up.  I think that is garbage and not fair to loyal Red Wing fans who have supported this team so well over the last 30 years.  If anything the stadium should be 22,000 seats to accommodate increased demand.

I also wish folks would stop suggesting the Pistons move downtown, not going to happen and frankly it shouldn’t happen.  The Palace is still a state of the art facility, moving the pistons out would be a colossal waste of one of the premier venues in the NBA.  Leave it alone, the Piston shouldn’t move to the new Arena, once they win it will be packed again.