Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Detroit Doubles Down on Professional Sports Strategy, Gives Away 39 Downtown Parcels to Red Wings Owner for a $1

Field of Schemes reports:
As expected, the Detroit city council rubber-stamped the transfer of several blocks of downtown land to Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch for $1 yesterday — or rather, the transfer of the land to the Detroit Downtown Development Authority, which will lease it to Ilitch for 95 years, because you wouldn’t expect a guy to own his land and have to pay property taxes on it, seriously, right? The council approved the plan 6-3, notwithstanding that Ilitch didn’t agree to anything in writing guaranteeing that jobs would go to locals, as some councilmembers wanted, and the city didn’t succeed in getting more than that dollar (I hope it has lots of 1′s in its serial number, at least) for its land, as other councilmembers had been insisting.
I guess the Detroit city council didn't get the message that the economic development using professional sports subsidies strategy the city has been pursuing for the past decade or so flopped.  It is a wonder the bankruptcy judge would allow this deal to go through. 

See also:

Tuesday, July 23, 2013, Detroit, Like Indianapolis, "Invested" Taxpayer Money in Private Development and Professional Sports

Friday, March 1, 2013, Public Investment in Professional Sports Sinks Detroit into Deep Debt; Michigan Governor Declares Economic Emergency, Plans to Take Over City

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