Hats off to Lakeview, the cozy little barn on the shore of Lake Superior, that beat out a rink in Calgary to be this year's Kraft Hockeyville arena and they get $150K in arena upgrades/fixes and a preseason NHL game.
I spent many many nights at Lakeview as an NMU underclassman enjoying those Wildcats. Dallas Drake and Jim Hiller, former Wings, both played there.
Just popping in to say it looks like the penny has dropped with a lot of people. Ken Holland is a clown who hid behind the success of Håkan Andersson for many, many years.
With the majority of Andersson's players gone or on the decline there was never any real attempt by Holland for so many years to keep the Wings at the top, just a lot of cast away one-year rentals that and the never ending presence of Dan Cleary.
He has literally waited to the point where we're on the cusp of becoming a team that won't even make the playoffs before he's decided he actually has to do his job and make us a better team...although his job is apparently for us to expect less, so then he's doing a better job without actually having to do anything?
The guys a joke. Huge thanks to Håkan Andersson for giving us such a good team between 2006-10.
I agree with this perspective to a point and John Oliver did a solid episode on publicly funded arenas. I've heard arguments on the other side that also sway. I've seen that the arena is estimated to cost $627M and could go higher. Even though Ilitch is personally worth 5 billion+, I doubt his company has that amount of free cash to spend at one time so I understand if a certain amount coming from government funding.
One thing to consider on the naming issue, is that the Ilitches have essentially turned away a huge amount of money by not selling the naming rights to another company. Maybe it's their interest to have the advertising (although I don't think it's that much extra exposure - we all knew the new arena would be lined with Little Ceasars venders, signage, and they would give free pizzas at the games just like they do at the Joe). But think of the alternative of them taking a huge amount of public money and then using the arena to bring in an extra money to cover part of their end (Blues got 70 million for 20 years naming rights for the Savvis center for a random example) Probably everyone would prefer Howe arena or honoring some local hero, but I think Little Ceasars is the best option for corporate naming.
I get WHY public funding is often necessary, I'm not even against public funding. I just think that if you're going to accept public funding for your teams new arena you should probably make an effort to represent and validate their contribution rather than be wholly greedy and promote your brand to their exclusion.