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Red Wings Arena Project Approved

The Detroit Red Wings home, Joe Louis Arena, is among the most famous arenas in its sport.Soon, the arena will be history.On Wednesday, the Michigan Strategic Fund board unanimously approved a $650 million project that includes up to $450 million in bonds going towards a new arena for the Red Wings and other events, according to The Associated Press. The remaining $200 million will be spent to develop a 45-block area between midtown and downtown where the arena will be built.The approval comes at a time when the city of Detroit has declared bankruptcy, but Governor Rick Snyder believes the arena project will benefit the city.“[The arena project] should increase the tax base of the city longer term, and should increase the employment opportunities for Detroiters. So this should create a better environment for Detroit long-term, and that will be better for all of us,” he told the Detroit Free Press.Snyder estimates the project will create 4,380 new construction jobs in a time when the city and its people need them most.“This vital community development will provide thousands of jobs for city residents during construction and new fulltime jobs when the facilities are completed,” Michael Finney, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation added to CBS Local.The bonds, which are for 30 years, will come from public and private revenue streams.Olympia Development, owned by the Ilitch family (also owners of the Red Wings), will provide 56 percent of the payments with the other 44 percent coming from public tax dollars.The next step in the arena development will be for Olympia Development, the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan to sign a concessions management agreement that will keep the Wings in Detroit for 35 years, as well as 12 five-year options following the original time frame.