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The $450M Red Wings Arena Breaks Ground Tomorrow!

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Ever since the construction of the new Red Wings arena and accompanying entertainment district were announced, there's been hoopla over who is paying for it. This week Crain's went on a deep dive of the finances, right before the Thursday groundbreaking. In 1982, Mike and Marian Illitch purchased the NHL Detroit Red Wings hockey franchise. In a nutshell the Ilitches, a family that owns the Little Caesars pizza chain, are quite rich. Pizza! Pizza! revenue in 2013 was $3.1 billion. But they are not paying for this thing alone.

Fast facts:
· The arena is estimated to cost $450 million.
· The Michigan Strategic Fund is putting $450M worth of bonds into the project. The first type, Series A bonds, get paid back by property taxes. The value of these bonds is $250M. It is estimated to take 30 years to pay off the bonds.
· There is a second type of bond The Michigan Strategic Fund is putting towards the project that the Ilitches have to pay back. This is $200M worth of Series B bonds that the family's Olympia Development has agreed to pay the DDA for bond retirement.
· The entertainment district, including bars, restaurants, stores, apartments, and townhomes is estimated to cost $200M. This will be privately financed by the Ilitches and their business partners.
· When it comes to those property taxes in the DDA district, many big corporations are on the hook. General Motors is the single largest taxpayer within the district which includes the Ren Cen. Other big tax payers include the Greektown Hotel-Casino, Quicken Loans and Comerica Bank.
· Properties in the DDA district that are exempt from taxes include churches, schools, public parks and government-owned buildings. Since the DDA will own the new hockey arena it will not pay taxes.
For the whole dizzying, complicated answer to "who pays for this anyway?" see Crain's.
· On cost, financing of Wings arena: Here are answers [Crain's]
· Red Wings Arena Announces A Groundbreaking Date [Curbed Detroit]