Ken Harrison 7:30 a.m., March 28
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