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Ilitch Family Under Fire for Construction of Red Wing Arena

Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup Victory Parade

Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch is receiving criticism over the construction of a new stadium for his team, the Detroit Red Wings. Christopher Douglas, Associate Professor of economics at the University of Michigan-Flint, wrote scathing criticism of the deal. He claims that Olympia Development, owned by Ilitch negotiated a plan to build a $650 million stadium that would cost taxpayers $250 million. Douglas calls this “corporate welfare, ” and is one of the most expensive hockey stadiums ever, when Ilitch had “no real leverage” over the politicians who agreed.

He claims as part of the deal, Olympia got out of paying $50 million to $80 million in television revenue it owed the city, and will gain $11 million in ticket revenue it no longer needs to share with the city of Detroit. Douglas went on to say that sports team often extract agreements by threatening to move, but this was not a reality for the Red Wings, and therefore, he alleges, Olympia and Ilitch got more than it gave.

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