West Riverfront Park gets $50M from Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, will be named for him


Proposed design for West Riverfront Park. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Proposed design for West Riverfront Park.

Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. — the deceased Detroit native who founded the American Football League and was the longtime owner of the Buffalo Bills — will have a lasting impact on Detroit's riverfront. The foundation created with money from his sale of the team has announced it will donate $50 million to a new park planned for Detroit's west riverfront, and that the park will be named Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park.

The donation — timed to coincide with Wilson's 100th birthday — is only the half of it. The foundation will also donate an additional $50 million to building trails throughout Southeast Michigan.
Similar gifts were announced for Buffalo, Wilson's second home.

The president of Wilson's billion-dollar foundation tells Curbed Detroit that Wilson would have appreciated the gifts made in his honor, as he "loved exercise and being outside and near the water."

You can read more about the impact the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is having in Detroit here.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.