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Detroit council OKs land transfer for new arena

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 4, 2014 at 6:30 pm •  Published: February 4, 2014

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit City Council on Tuesday approved transferring vacant city-owned parcels for a new hockey arena and a 45-block entertainment complex just north of downtown.

Once complete, the 18,000-seat arena will become home to the Detroit Red Wings, who will move out of aging Joe Louis Arena.

The transfer is the third part of council action on the $650 million project. In December, the board approved financing for the project and broadened the boundaries of the city's Downtown Development Authority.

The authority would own the arena and event center. Olympia Development would have exclusive rights to use, manage and operate it, and hold naming rights.

The Ilitch family owns Olympia Development and the Red Wings.

The council approved the measure 6-3 on Tuesday. City Council President Brenda Jones and members James Tate and Raquel Castaneda Lopez voted no.

"I am wholeheartedly behind the development," said Tate, who added that he opposed the proposal because it is "extremely important" to have a more defined commitment to employ Detroit residents in the project.

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