Well it’s officially official. The Wings are going to get a new rink – and it sounds like not just that either. They’ll be getting an entire district centered around the new rink in Downtown Detroit.
After years of hints and speculation, the Ilitch family took the first steps Tuesday toward building a new entertainment district downtown anchored by a multipurpose arena that would be home to the Ilitch-owned Detroit Red Wings.
No site has been chosen, but the proposed $650-million district would offer much more than hockey. The multipurpose arena would host a range of shows, concerts and other events, and the broader district would include residential housing, retail shopping, office space and more.
You know, as much as I love the Joe, I’m good with this. Hopefully they make it modern, but with the blue collar feel as well, keeping as much as the tradition and history alive as they can. Maybe even the troughs too. You know, just because.
You gotta give Ilitch credit for his intense devotion to downtown Detroit. Here’s what he has to say about this all:
"It's always been my dream to once again see a vibrant downtown Detroit," Mike Ilitch, chairman of Ilitch Holdings, said in a written statement. "From the time we bought the Fox Theatre, I could envision a downtown where the streets were bustling and people were energized. It's been a slow process at times, but we're getting there now, and a lot of great people are coming together to make it happen. It's going to happen, and I want to keep us moving toward that vision."
The site hasn’t been determined yet, but the Free Press guesses either right behind Fox Theatre, opposite MotorCity Casino, or west of Woodward Avenue and north of I-75. Here's a map of those possible locations. The ability to really wander around and enjoy the area around the rink will be a huge bonus as compared to the Joe.
Hit the jump for more:
Timeline looks to be around 4 years, but of course, that’s also TBD.
Thanks Mr. Ilitch for some news related to the Wings that doesn’t make me want to bang my head against the wall in frustration. Though, don’t forget, the longer this goes on, the less chance you’ll have fans to fill up this new place.