Corporate welfare for Red Wings arena won’t spur economic development


By Christopher C. Douglas | for Michigan Capitol Confidential

The idea that the proposed new Red Wings arena will revitalize midtown Detroit is the reason given for the $260 million in corporate welfare that will help finance the project. The idea that a new sports arena will spur economic development, however, lacks credibility.

An NHL season only has 41 home games, meaning the arena is closed for the most of the other 324 days of the year with the exception of some concerts or other special events. Not much development can take place around a facility that is closed nearly 90 percent of the year.

Take the Palace of Auburn Hills, where the Detroit Pistons play, as an example. An NBA season also consists of 41 home games. If sports arenas really spurred additional economic development, there would be bars and restaurants surrounding the Palace. Yet, there are not.

at Michigan Capitol Confidential.