The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/26/14 at 05:39 PM ET
Cue a raised eyebrow. The Metro Times' Ryan Felton reports the following:
Not much is known about the new $450 million Detroit Red Wings arena near downtown, other than it will seat 18,000 fans and be situated in an area bounded by I-75, Cass, Woodward and Temple avenues. Nevertheless, state officials indicated they wanted shovels in the ground for the project earlier this month, Metro Times has learned, but that ceremony fell through for unclear reasons.
An official deeply involved in the project’s negotiations pegged June 2 as a likely groundbreaking date for the facility, according to emails obtained from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) by Metro Times through a Freedom of Information Act request.
“Please put a hold on Mike’s calendar for the morning of June 2 for a likely arena groundbreaking,” Mark Morante, MEDC senior vice president of program management, wrote in an April 3 email labeled “CONFIDENTIAL” to Melissa Dansereau, administrative assistant of the MEDC’s executive office — likely in reference to Michael Shore, MEDC managing director of communications, who was copied on the message.
“G’s office knows,” Morante wrote, a likely reference to Gov. Rick Snyder.
It’s unclear why the date fell through or if another has been scheduled as of yet. Ceremonial groundbreakings require numerous dates to be blocked out well in advance and are usually tentative, a spokesperson for the MEDC said today. Numerous officials with the state, the Detroit Downtown Development Authority and Olympia Development of Michigan, the real estate arm of Detroit Red Wings owner Ilitch Holdings Inc., today either declined comment or could not be reached. Morante confirmed the June date was for the new Red Wings arena, but declined further comment.
Continued, and given that the Wings want the arena to be ready for the 2015-2016 season, they're going to need to break ground sooner than later.
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