Kid Rock, American Phony

“I say “our” quite purposefully there, because Detroiters — of all hues and beliefs and economic class — have leveraged our financial future, pledging some $324.1 million in future tax dollars — including proceeds from a tax meant to support public schools — to help pay for this $863-million stadium.

We’ve also put our faith in the Ilitch family — again — to come through on the big promises they’ve made about what we would get in return.

That’s not turning out the way we imagined, either.

The Ilitches pledged to ensure that 50% of the work done to construct this arena would go to Detroiters, a modestly fair proffer for all the tax dollars that went in.

But that target was missed by almost half, for many reasons, and $2.9 million in fines were levied against the companies who landed arena contracts.

The Ilitches also promised that this arena would be built simultaneously with the other developments that would make up the new District Detroit neighborhood.

This echoed their promise back in the early 1990s surrounding Comerica Park, pitched as a catalyst that would ignite development akin to Wrigleyville on the north side of Chicago.

That never happened, of course, and as the new arena prepares to open, nearly all of the promised development outside of the Ilitch investments — the new Little Caesars headquarters on Woodward, the new Wayne State Business School next to the arena and a slew of parking lots — are still if-come.”

That editorial, along with a planned protest of Rock’s opening show, prompted a statement yesterday from Ilitch Holdings, the umbrella organization for their vast corporation.

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Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson

Purveyor of Truth and Facts. Boarding school survivor. World traveler. Lifelong Detroiter. Loves good TV, movies, sports and friends and family. Mostly.