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Ilitch family breaks ground on new Red Wings arena


Detroit heavyweights broke ground today on a $450 million sports and entertainment complex.
It will serve as the new home of the Detroit Red Wings.

Backers say it will also serve as an anchor for hundreds of millions of dollars of new economic development.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says this is different from other stadium-based mega-projects around the country — it’s a “true partnership.”

“What’s so unique about this is you have the ownership driving the development of the community,” said Duggan. “New housing, new shops, new restaurants … the entire area being rebuilt.”

But the project’s many critics disagree.

They think it’s inappropriate that the project will be partially funded by tax dollars, while the city is coming out of bankruptcy.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.