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Mike Ilitch Proposes New Red Wings Arena

December 4th, 2012 at 7:21 PM
By Frank Vajcner

Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Illitch and his company took a step forward toward building a new arena.

Per the Detroit Free Press, Illitch Holdings, Inc. proposed a new $650 million entertainment district in Detroit which will include a new multi-purpose arena to lawmakers in Lansing, Michigan Tuesday.

“It’s always been my dream to once again see a vibrant downtown Detroit,” Illitch said in a statement. “From the time we bought the Fox Theatre, I could envision a downtown where the streets were bustling and people were energized. It’s been a slow process at times, but we’re getting there now and a lot of great people are coming together to make it happen. It’s going to happen and I want to keep us moving toward that vision.”

While no site has been chosen for the project, the Free Press named the area behind the Fox Theatre; an area across from Motor City Casino surrounded by Grand River Avenue, Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, and the Lodge Freeway; and an area of vacant lots west of Woodward Avenue and north of Interstate 75. All of the aforementioned property is owned by the Illitch organization.

The project is expected to be completed by 2017.

The Red Wings current home, Joe Louis Arena, has been in use since 1979, making it the fourth oldest NHL arena. Madison Square Gardens, home of the New York Rangers, was built in 1968 and is currently undergoing renovations.

Nassau Coliseum, home of the New York Islanders, was built in 1972. The Islanders will be moving to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in 2015.

Rexall Place, home of the Edmonton Oilers, was built in 1974. The Oilers were expected to move into a new arena, but plans have hit a snag.

After the Joe, Scotiabank Saddledome, home of the Calgary Flames, is the only other NHL arena built before 1990.

Tags: Detroit, Detroit Red Wings, Hockey, Joe Louis Arena, Mike Ilitch, NHL

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