I have such mixed feelings about this. I think that any rational citizen looking at this objectively would agree you shouldn't have publicly funded stadiums for billionaires, and a city as economically depressed as Detroit shouldn't have built THREE new stadiums in the span of 15 years. There is no appreciable economic benefit to building a stadium, particularly where there was already a stadium in that area. Studies have been done, and there just isn't any evidence to back it up.
All that being said, people who like the Red Wings (myself included) convince ourselves that we don't care. Or, to look at another way, we DO care about the Red Wings more than we care about a museum renovation, lowering a budget deficit, or the $12 million diverted from education funds (my number/sources may be inaccurate, but you get the point).
And as an out-of-state Red Wings fan, I actually felt guilty that I was happy about the new arena because it benefits me as a fan (though not one that gets back to many live games) without having having to pay the bill in the city I grew up around.
I guess here's the thing with Detroit that keeps coming up: If not now, when? If your argument against any new development or construction is always "wait till things get better?", has that wish ever really come true since, what, the '67 Riots? You could argue there are certain way the city has gotten better since the 90's, but what they really mean is that city has done a better job becoming a Chuck E' Cheese's for adult suburbanites (casinos, Comerica, Ford Field, etc.). JLA is old and would need to be replaced sooner or later, even if there wasn't an immediate threat (like an owner thinking about selling the team or moving it somewhere else).
Sorry, just rambling out loud. I get frustrated when I go back home, see the busted out windows and 28% unemployment, and then have my family tell me how nice downtown is because there's a skating rink at Campus Martius now. Most of my family has never moved more than 10 miles in their lifetime, and they don't know that it doesn't have to be like that. Go Red Wings.
Edited by Jedi, 22 June 2013 - 03:22 PM.