Orr says Detroit bankruptcy won't halt $400M Red Wings arena plans

July 26, 2013 at 4:25 PM
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DETROIT, July 26 (UPI) -- The emergency manager overseeing Detroit's finances says the city's bankruptcy filing won't halt plans for a taxpayer-funded, $400 million hockey arena.

Kevin Orr, who was appointed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder to oversee Detroit's finances, said building a new arena for the NHL Detroit Red Wings will promote economic growth, CNNMoney reported Friday.

"I know there's a lot of emotional concern about should we be spending the money," Orr said. "But frankly that's part of the economic development. We need jobs. If it is as productive as it's supposed to be, that's going to be a boon to the city."

Michigan state Senate Democratic leader Gretchen Whitmer said the arena will not benefit the city enough to justify the cost to taxpayers.

"If you want people to live in the city, and not just visit to go to games, you have to invest in schools, in having the police to respond to calls," she said. "There are so many investments that should trump a sports stadium."

The legislature approved funds for the stadium in December.

Whitmer said she wants the matter revisited in light of the city's deteriorating financial situation.

"If the vote was held today, since the bankruptcy, I wouldn't put my money on it passing," she said.

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