Why would Detroit want to demolish the Joe Luis Arena, Home of the Detroit Red Wings?
The city of Detroit is ending city-paid health insurance and for retirees and cutting pensions of thousands of retirees in order to get rid of $7 billion of debt. With financial help from the state, Detroit also plans to tear down the arena where the National Hockey League Detroit Red Wings call home. The plan is to give the land to a creditor as part of a major settlement in the town’s bankruptcy case.
There is a trial being held to determine if the city’s plan to get out of bankruptcy is not only fair, but do-able. The bankruptcy case was the largest filing by a city in United States history.
After months of settlements between Detroit and its creditors, Financial Guaranty Insurance was one of the last creditors still standing, asserting a $1 billion claim. The arena and parking garage on the land owned by the city along the Detroit River would be demolished, giving almost nine acres to Financial Guaranty.
Likely to start in 2017, Michigan has agreed to give $6 million for the demotion. The financial restructuring is a “turning moment for this area of Detroit” according to a lawyer for the city. The land is considered valuable because it is near the downtown convention hall in Detroit. The land provides opportunities for hotels, condos, office space, or retail development.
What’s going to happen to the NHL arena? Already there are plans to move the Red Wings to a new home a few miles away. Joe Luis Arena is home of the 11-time Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings and currently stands along the banks of the Detroit River. It is Detroit’s largest indoor venue, seating 20,058 and hosts professional sports, concerts, shows, circuses and many other activities.