Hopeful to improve fan experience and lure free agents with a brand new venue, the Detroit Red Wings' officially received approval to create a multipurpose event center from the Michigan Senate on Wednesday according to a report by David Eggert of MLive.com.
Red Wings owner Mike Illitch has been pushing to move his team out of a once-beloved Joe Louis Arena, which currently ranks as the fourth-oldest venue in the league. Despite featuring one of the best teams in hockey on a yearly basis over the last two decades, Illitch's organization has not been able to compete with some of the more modern technological upgrades to other arenas around the NHL.
The proposal is expected to be funded by both private investors and the city's Downtown Development Authority (DDA). As of right now no new taxes will need to be created in order to create the new arena, and the legislation will be evaluated by the Michigan House of Representatives before the year is out. Although some lawmakers questioned the motives to divert money away from issues like schools in order to build a hockey arena, the economic impact of an upgraded facility in downtown Detroit could be quite significant.