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The Malik Report

Another potential Red Wings debt to the City of Detroit emerges

When Ilitch Holdings and Olympia Entertainment chose not to renew Joe Louis Arena's lease with the City of Detroit in 2010, they did so in order to allow Cobo Hall to revert back to the City's management, and that's worked out very well for the City as Cobo's renovation will allow the North American International Auto Show to grow over the next few years.

In return, in theory, anyway, any outstanding debts toward the City, Wayne County or any other potential assessor were going to be revisited and renegotiated once Olympia both secured some City/county or State subsitization toward building a follow-on rink (which has happened) and said plans had been firmed up (which hasn't happened yet), thus allowing Olympia and the City of Detroit to negotiate terms regarding the Ilitches' lease on Joe Louis Arena until their follow-on rink's completed at some point in the future.

As the City of Detroit is hovering particularly precariously close over out-and-out bankruptcy, and as the Ilitches did recently receive state approval for some subsidization of their as-yet-unfinished plans to build the Red Wings' next rink, taxes and any other monies which the Wings' parent organization may or may not owe the City have taken center stage, and today, the Detroit News's Christine MacDonald suggests that the Wings may owe the City as much as $70 million via a cut of their cable broadcasting revenues, though the dean of sports economists, Andrew Zimbalist, believes that the Wings owe the city more around the lines of $10 million for a tab that the city never attempted to collect upon to begin with--until now:

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Devellano Talks New Rink For The Wings

from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star,

Detroit Red Wings senior vice-president Jim Devellano believes that a new home for the National Hockey League club isn’t merely necessary, it’s mandatory if the Wings want to continue to operate as one of the elite franchises in the league.

“For the hockey team, to sustain the Red Wings, to get them back to where they once were, the ability to attract free agents, a vibrant building in downtown Detroit would be a plus,” Devellano said, admitting that outdated Joe Louis Arena played a role in the Wings’ inability to land Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, the top two unrestricted free agents available last summer.

The Michigan state legislature last week passed Bill HB5463, which would provide public funds to help develop a downtown Detroit complex that would include a new facility to replace Joe Louis Arena, the Red Wings’ home rink since 1979.

“What a wonderful thing this would be for the City of Detroit,” Devellano said. “When you think of Comerica Park, Ford Field, the Fox Theatre and now the possibility of a new state-of-the-art arena and new people moving downtown, new residences, it really would be fantastic thing for the City of Detroit.

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Detroit Red Wings Front Office Involved In Local Charities

Detroit, MI… The Detroit Red Wings front office is celebrating the holiday season this week by volunteering at two local charities, Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan and Michigan Humane Society’s Detroit Center for Animal Care.

Assistant General Manager Jim Nill and radio play-by-play announcer Ken Kal will volunteer at Gleaners Community Food Bank’s Detroit distribution center from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 18. Typical volunteer tasks include sorting and packing food or pulling agency orders.

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Ilitches say back-taxes will be paid as State House approves arena-funding bill

Updated at 11:07 PM: Olympia Entertainment is now stating that as a leasee, it owes no taxes and has not been given a tax bill by the city.

Now things get a bit...Nuanced, I suppose. The property taxes that Olympia Entertainment and Ilitch Holdings owe they City of Detroit are supposedly unpaid very specifically because the Ilitches have been leasing Joe Louis Arena on an informal basis, as they claim to the Detroit News's Christine Macdonald...

The reason the taxes haven't been paid is because the lease ended in June 2010, according to a Thursday statement by the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and Olympia Entertainment Inc.

"A new lease is being discussed," the city's economic development arm and the Ilitch Holdings Inc. company said, "and the intent of both parties has been to have the taxes in question reconciled when the new lease is renewed."

The city of Detroit and Olympia Entertainment have been negotiating for more than two years about extending the lease for Joe Louis Arena — where the Detroit Red Wings play — and Cobo Arena. Olympia Entertainment doesn't want a long-term lease because of the plan to build a new arena.

And in Lansing, per the Free Press's Kathleen Gray...

A bill that gives the Ilitch organization a leg up on a proposed sports and entertainment complex in Detroit passed the state House by a 58-49 margin Thursday afternoon.

The bill would allow the Downtown Development Authority to continue to capture funds — about $12 million a year — to help pay for infrastructure needs associated with the proposed $300-million Ilitch project.

The bill now heads to Governor Snyder's desk as the State Senate already approved the legislation.

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Sheahan With A Guilty Plea

from Peter J. Wallner of Mlive,

 Detroit Red Wings prospect Riley Sheahan pleaded guilty today to the super drunk offense of operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol content of .17 or more.

Charges of displaying or using false identification and driving the wrong way on Ottawa Avenue were dismissed.

Sheahan, who plays for the Grand Rapids Griffins, was in Grand Rapids District Court on Thursday, Dec. 13, before Judge Jeanine N. LaVille. 

According to a clerk at the 61st district court, Sheahan had to pay a $1,325 fine be today and agreed to complete 49 hours on a work crew, attend a victim impact class and serve 12 months of probation.

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Rut roh: Olympia Entertainment owes significant property taxes to City of Detroit

Oh boy, per the Detroit News's Christine MacDonald and the Free Press's Matt Helms:

Mike Ilitch’s entertainment empire owes Detroit nearly a million dollars in unpaid property taxes on Joe Louis Arena and Cobo Arena downtown dating back to 2009, according to documents obtained today by the Free Press.

Questions about the Ilitch organization’s financial obligations to the city emerged today in Lansing as lawmakers debated a plan that would allow local taxes in downtown Detroit to help fund a $650-million plan for a new Red Wings arena that would anchor an entertainment, retail and housing district downtown.

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Top Hockey Arenas In Michigan

from Paul Swaney of Stadium Journey,

Minnesota may be known as the State of Hockey, but Michigan may have the best collection of hockey venues in the United States. With teams in the NHL, AHL, ECHL, OHL, USHL, NAHL, and college hockey there is great hockey to be enjoyed at every level. Here's our list of the 12 best hockey arenas in the state of Michigan.

Van Andel Arena - Home of the Grand Rapids Griffins

The Grand Rapids Griffins, and the city of Grand Rapids have created a blueprint of how minor league hockey should be presented. The entire experience was first class, regardless if you had the kids with you for a family outing, or if you were the hardcore local fan.

continue for 11 more arenas...

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Legislation to assist Ilitches in building follow-on rink may be scuttled in Lansing

Sigh. Via Paul, per the Detroit News's Chad Livengood, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's decision to back a controversial "right-to-work" bill has officially yielded the end of bipartisan legislation in the Michigan legislature, and I guess we shouldn't be surprised that the Ilitches' attempts to build a follow-on rink to Joe Louis Arena may be hitting a legislative dead end as a retaliatory measure:

Minority Leader Rich Hammel said his caucus plans to vote "no" on a bill that would allow Olympia Development to tap nearly $13 million in downtown development authority tax funds for a proposed $650 million mixed-use district comprising a multipurpose events center along with retail, office and residential housing space.

"They will vote 'no' on the Ilitch project," said Hammel, D-Mount Morris Township. "From our perspective, I think it's important that we stand together united — and we will."

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Lockout or no lockout, Red Wings continue working with Salvation Army

I have to give the Red Wings major "props" for ensuring that while they can't combine charitable efforts with their players, the team's still employing Kirk Maltby, Kris Draper, Chris Osgood, Jiri Fischer, Chris Chelios, Ken Holland, Mike Babcock and Ken Kal to fill the void in terms of charitable endeavors. Tomorrow (a.k.a. Tuesday, December 11th), the vast majority of the front office will be manning kettles for the Salvation Army across Metro Detroit, and the Wings just released the following press release regarding their annual commitment to the Salvation Army's "bed and bread" program:

KIRK MALTBY AND KEN KAL TO VOLUNTEER ON THE SALVATION ARMY’S BED & BED TRUCK

… Former Player and Radio Announcer to Serve Meals on Dec. 12 …

Detroit, MI… Former Detroit Red Wings player Kirk Maltby and radio play-by-play announcer Ken Kal will serve food and hot chocolate to Detroit neighbors in need from The Salvation Army’s Bed & Bread Truck this Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 11:45 a.m.

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NHLPA Charity Game Raises Funds For Cancer Foundation

from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star,

Jimmy Howard looked out upon the gathered media scrum and blinked a couple of times.

“Haven’t seen you guys in a while,” Howard said.

Likewise, we’re sure, was undoubtedly uttered by the 4,500 or so who came to the WFCU Centre Saturday night for the Rock Out The Lockout NHLPA charity game.

The final score saw Steve Ott’s Team White drub Dan Cleary’s Team Black by a 17-11 count in the NHLPA charity game that benefitted local childhood cancer foundation Sparkles From Above, but this was never about the game as much as it was about the event.

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.

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