Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New Detroit Red Wings arena part of mall complex?

With a ton of real-estate activity at the rumored site of a new Detroit Red Wings (NHL) arena, the talk is a new facility could be part of a larger mall complex. The area between Woodward Avenue and Cass near Temple, a blighted area, has emerged as a hot real-estate market in recent months, with several properties changing hands or in the midst of negotiations for a sale. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock may have let the cat out of the bag during a radio interview with the local 97.1 The Ticket station:
 “If you want the city to come back, you got to revitalize downtown. A big part of that’s going to be the new arena, and the mall and the stuff going around it,” he said. “And that’s very important. That’s why we need the state to jump onside, and the sooner the better, if we’re going to revitalize Michigan. It’s got to start right here in Detroit.” 

 With developer Al Traubman rumored to be looking at a downtown shopping center, the outlines of the plan become clearer: a new arena as part of a much larger development. And this is the same site where a stop was added to light-rail plans several months ago, despite the lack of any current need for a stop.

I think that would be a great move. Detroit's downtown would get a boost with the best team in hockey for the last 20 years having a shiny new arena in the middle of downtown. I also think it would do justice, because Joe Louis Arena seems pretty crappy. It was opened in 1979, and Detroit is home to one of the nicest stadiums in the MLB and NFL. Also, the Pistons play about 25 miles away from downtown. Who knows? Maybe they can have all 4 teams together downtown.

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