Wings Coach Babcock Wants State to Help With New Arena
Detroit Red Wings Coach Mike Babcock wants the state to help finance a new arena in Detroit according to the Detroit News. The News says Babcock made the comments about a new arena when he called into 97.1 The Ticket on Tuesday.
Babcock said “if you want the city to come back, you got to revitalize downtown. And a big part of that’s going to be the new arena, and the mall and stuff going around it. 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.”
Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch has said for the past five years he’d like to build a new arena for the team downtown. One of the snags has been financing. When Ilitch built Comerica Park in the 90’s, home of the Detroit Tigers, he received $115 million from the city of Detroit, Wayne County and corporate investors and paid the remaining $185 million. The state financed infrastructure improvements. Economic experts and a pollster speculate that Ilitch won’t get as much public aid for an arena.
Governor Snyder’s office has not commented on the issue, but when he ran for Governor in 2010, he stated he would like to see private interests finance a new arena and the money loaned from the state should be repaid with guarantees.
Ilitch Holdings spokeswoman Karen Cullen said, “Our organization has been on record as stating we would like a new arena downtown.”