In midst of bankruptcy, Detroit gets new arena

The Detroit skyline and the exterior of Joe Louis Arena on April 25.

A Michigan state board unanimously approved a request to use economic development taxes to build a new arena for the Detroit Red Wings.

LANSING, Mich. — A state board has given the go-ahead for a new Red Wings arena in downtown Detroit that will be partially paid for with tax dollars.

The Michigan Strategic Fund Board on Wednesday unanimously approved the Downtown Development Authority's request to use economic development taxes for the project. The board also signaled the intent to issue bonds to build the arena.

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The project includes $450 million for the arena and another $200 million for nearby developments designed to connect downtown to midtown. Fifty-six percent of the cost is private and 44 percent public.

Gov. Rick Snyder and others defended using public money at a time Detroit is in bankruptcy proceedings and can't deliver basic services.

Snyder says it's part of investing in Detroit's future and sending a message to investors.

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