The Craig Fahle Show

Is the New Arena a Good or Bad Deal for Detroit?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Detroit City Council approved a new arena project downtown for the Detroit Red Wings. Mike Ilitch's company will build the facility, but not everyone is happy with the plans. Craig talks to Nancy Kaffer of the Detroit Free Press, Bill Shea of Crain's Detroit Business, and takes calls from listeners to get their reaction to the deal.

"You need people out in the neighborhoods... not just being, you go to the arena... and then you leave," Shea says about the economic impact of a new arena on Detroit. Shea says it's "absolutely critical" the Ilitch organization is held accountable to ensure Detroiters are afforded job opportunities, and the arena has the best possible impact on the community.

A caller from Detroit named Eric says the Detroit Economic Development Corporation was not a good advocate for residents and community members in the beginning stages of planning the new arena project. Caller Rob from Grosse Pointe says projects such as this do work in cities, and the best example of a successful mixed-use arena is Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, which he says has good foot traffic in the retail areas.