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The major players of new Detroit hockey arena

A who's who.


  • Courtesy photo.

Detroit City Council

As part of the deal, Detroit City Council expanded the Detroit Downtown Development Authority’s footprint to accommodate the new arena and entertainment district. It also approved a controversial transfer of city-owned land to the DDA for the new arena, which it did at the cost of $1. The council approved a retroactive lease for Joe Louis Arena, as well as a proposal to demolish the arena when the Red Wings vacate the facility for their new home. 

Detroit Downtown Development Authority

The Detroit Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is a public entity, which is staffed by the nonprofit Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (see below). The DDA has the ability to use property tax revenues within its district to fund the costs of constructing projects, like the new Red Wings arena.

Detroit Economic Growth Corporation

The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) is a quasi-public economic entity that staffs the DDA on an annual contract and works in conjunction with the city. The DEGC was the city of Detroit’s lead negotiator in the deal for the new Red Wings arena. 

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr

Had Detroit City Council rejected any piece of the deal for the new Red Wings arena, Orr maintained powers under Michigan’s emergency manager law to ensure it kept moving forward regardless.

Gov. Rick Snyder

Michigan’s Republican governor has been a staunch advocate of Ilitch’s new Red Wings arena since it was first announced.

Michigan Economic Development Corporation

A state economic agency that oversees the Michigan Strategic Fund. 

Michigan Strategic Fund

An economic agency, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, that will issue $450 million of bonds to fund the costs of construction for the new arena. Those bonds will be paid back from the DDA’s tax capture and revenue generated from the arena. 

Marian Ilitch

Wife of Mike Ilitch. Invested in MotorCity Casino when Detroit’s plans to bring gaming to the city launched in the late 1990s. She became the sole owner of the casino by the mid-2000s. 

Olympia Development of Michigan

Olympia is the real estate arm of Ilitch Holdings Inc., the umbrella company of Mike and Marian Ilitch’s entities. Olympia will lease and operate the new Red Wings arena from the DDA. It is the lead party in driving $200 million of adjacent investment to the arena, as part of the deal. 

Mike Ilitch 

Billionaire owner who brought his and wife Marian’s Little Caesars enterprise downtown in the 1980s. After refurbishing the Fox Theatre, Ilitch also purchased the Detroit Red Wings and Tigers. Under his ownership, a new ballpark was constructed for the Tigers in 2000. A new $450 million arena for the Red Wings is expected to be completed by 2017. 

Michigan Legislature

The state legislature had to pass a bill in December 2012 that allowed the DDA to continue capturing school taxes within its district in order to fund the costs of the new Red Wings arena.

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