The new Ilitch arena district has been the subject of much gossip since its inception late last year, but substantive information has been pretty hard to come by. But no longer! Sports management professor and Ilitch consultant Mark Rosentraub has laid us a golden egg of insider knowledge, revealing that the planned "arena district" will be 35 acres in size.
That makes one proposed arena site much more likely than the others: the empty area just north of I-75 and west of Woodward Avenue. That jibes with the Detroit News' repeated claims of "secretive" real estate dealings taking place in the area. Rosentraub adds that the Woodward/I-75 site is all set to hold an arena, infrastructure-wise, and that construction could begin as early as this fall. That would have the Red Wings lacing up the skates at the Ceasers Center (just a guess) three or four seasons from now. Another interesting insight is on cost, which altogether has been estimated at $650 million. Much of that money will go towards the "district" part of the plan -- commercial spaces, offices, and residential areas -- as the arena itself (he calls it a "box") should only cost about half that much. Says Rosentraub: "You can get a box built, with pretty impressive architecture, for just over $300 million."
· After Years Of Stalling, Ilitch Organization Sets Arena In Motion [Curbed Detroit]
· Ilitch consultant: Wings arena could break ground by fall [Crain's]
· Land deals suggest new Red Wings arena may land north of Fox Theatre [Detroit News]