Video Update: Business Owner Upbeat About $650-Million Wings Arena Plan

June 19, 2013, 7:05 PM

Sean Harrington, owner of the Town Pump and Centaur tavern-restaurants behind the Fox Theatre, tells WXYZ that he's excited to learn that plans for a new Red Wings arena and events center include a pedestrian bridge over I-75 to connect the project with Park Avenue. 

"It's another huge piece of the puzzle," he says in the 90-second video below.

Wednesday, 3 p.m.:

Detroit development officials got a look Wednesday afternoon at the $650-million Red Wings hockey arena and entertainment district proposed in December on the north end of downtown (see map below)

Louis Aguilar reports at The Detroit News.


The plan by Olympia Development, which officials say would be supported by 56 percent in private money and 44 percent in public funding, features an 18,000-seat arena along Woodard Avenue just north of the Fox Theatre between Interstate 75 and Temple Street. . . .

Under the concept proposed by Ilitch Holdings, the new hockey arena or multipurpose events center would anchor a 35-acre downtown district featuring sports, entertainment, stores and housing near the Ilitch family’s company headquarters in the restored Fox Theatre on Woodward Avenue and nearby Comerica Park, the home built for Mike Ilitch’s Detroit Tigers.

Those 18,000 seats, incidentally, are fewer than the 20,066 at Joe Louis Arena. 

Crain's sports business writer Bill Shea adds these details:

  • According to the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., $285 million of the $650-million cost will be public, with $365 million in private funding.
  • The event center space totals 650,000 square feet.
  • There will be 10,000 square feet of retail space on the ground level, a 105,000 square feet of office space and 35,000 square feet of retail.

In the Free Press, John Gallagher reports that the DDA approved a memo of understanding with the Ilitch organization to build the arena and events center.

The deal is tentative and what officials called a “framework” for a final deal. Multiple steps have to be concluded before the deal is final.

Aguilar quotes George Jackson, president of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp., as saying he hopes to wrap up negotiations by the end of 2013.

And in a less serious media item, WXYZ social media director Seth Myers addresses two big Tuesday stories in a tweet:

When the Joe is demolished, will someone sift dirt to make sure Jimmy #Hoffa wasn't buried below? 

Downtown Development Authority map shows site of proposed hockey arena and entertainment district. [Image via WXYZ]


Read more:  The Detroit News

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