Regner: Will Gilbert’s New Soccer Stadium Get Off the Ground?

How many times have we in Detroit seen artist renderings of things that are going to happen in Detroit, and that’s about as far as it gets?”  asks WDET’s Art Regner.

Courtesy of John Regner

There’s been a lot of sports in the news this week. Dan Gilbert and Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores announced plans for a billion-dollar soccer stadium in Downtown Detroit. The Lions made their first draft pick under new General Manager Bob Quinn, selecting Ohio State offensive tackle Taylor Decker.  And the Red Wings’ and Pistons’ seasons have ended in disappointing fashion.

On the prospect of a new soccer team and stadium Downtown, Detroit Today producer and sports commentator Art Regner says he’s skeptical it will come to pass. 

I have a very much wait-and-see approach to all of this,” Regner tells host Stephen Henderson. “How many times have we in Detroit seen artist renderings of things that are going to happen in Detroit, and that’s about as far as it gets?”

If the plan does get off the ground, Regner says, there will still be a question about how viable a Major League Soccer franchise will be in Detroit.

I think the only way this thing is going to work is… they have to put together a team that’s going to win, that has (stars with) name recognition, that people know.”

He says the team would have to consider borrowing players who are internationally known, perhaps from the English Premier League.

Henderson wrote a column this week outlining his qualms with Gilbert’s approach with the stadium and the unveiling of his plans.

On the Lions’ choice of Taylor Decker in the first round of the NFL Draft, Regner says he brings some much-needed qualities to the team.

I think it’s a very safe pick. I think that he has great leadership skills,” says Regner. ”He’ll bring a bit of sandpaper or roughness or an edge to the Lions, which they obviously need.”

But he says he’s concerned about Decker’s pass-blocking abilities.

To hear the full conversation, click on the audio link above.

Image credit: Courtesy of Rossetti

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