Daniel Powell 11 a.m., Jan. 18
Bankrupt Detroit to subsidize hockey arena for billionaire
But could sell great art from museum to help support city
Detroit seems to have swept away legal impediments to a Chapter 9 bankruptcy, but it hasn't swept the cobwebs out of leadership's brains. Despite the bankruptcy, the city is going ahead with subsidizing a hockey arena for the Detroit Red Wings hockey team, owned by billionaire Mike Ilitch, whose wife owns a casino downtown. (Ponder that ownership arrangement.) The $450 million arena will initially cost taxpayers anywhere from $261.5 million to $283 million, depending on who is doing the figuring. But over the long term length of the project, taxpayer costs will run over $400 million. The Michigan governor says the project will help the economy. Apparently, some believe him.
The city has more than $18 billion in liabilities. Some are eyeing great paintings in the Detroit Art Institute -- by Picasso, Tintoretto, Van Gogh, etc -- as a way to raise up to $3 billion. Vultures such as Christie's have already combed through the art museum to see if it can snap up bargains.
More like this:
- Support your local billionaire sports team owner — July 22, 2015
- Hundreds of millions for football, zilch for opera — April 23, 2014
- Detroit Red Wings deal a cautionary tale — March 5, 2014
- Bread and circuses — Feb. 12, 2014
- It's Not Just Chargers Who Would Fleece Insolvent Political Entity — Nov. 13, 2010