The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Hockey Owner Looks to Get Over

May 13, 2013

Low-income residents of downtown Detroit are being pushed out of their apartments for a land grab aimed at building a new hockey arena.

What’s more, if the wealthy “pizza-pizza” Ilitch family has their way, taxpayers of the State of Michigan will “own” the new arena!

Taxpayers already own Detroit’s Cadillac Place office building – formerly General Motors headquarters – through a transfer of ownership to the Michigan Strategic Fund in June 2011.

A New York investment bank, First Southwest, which specializes in public finance of sports arenas, has been in discussions with state legislators, according to Crain’s Detroit.

An e-mail from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) detailed $2 million in arena project funding to come from the City of Detroit and $2 million from Wayne County.

According to Crain’s, the Ilitch family is “interested in the state, through the Michigan Strategic Fund, owning a new hockey arena for the Ilitch-owned Detroit Red Wings....”

According to journalist Neil deMause, author of the book Field of Schemes, a look at public funding for sports stadiums, “If the state owns the building, presumably [the Ilitches] don’t have to pay property taxes. That’s huge.”

The State of Michigan IS HELPING the wealthy Ilitches avoid paying taxes to the debt-burdened City of Detroit while NOT HELPING displaced Detroiters to have new affordable housing – business as usual in Michigan!