Detroit’s current financial situation is infamous. With a bankrupt government, a stalling economy, and one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, the city is under control of a governor-appointed emergency manager. Clearly, the city budget is in need of stringent reorganization to escape these circumstances and help the city onto a sustainable economic path. In a curious and insulting move, Detroit has chosen to use precious state funding to finance a new, $444 million hockey arena.
While Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, claims that the project is “part of the economic development … If it is as productive as it’s supposed to be, that’s going to be a boon to the city,” its real benefits will likely be tepid at best. Even if there are vast benefits from the investment, the ramifications of cutting spending elsewhere to fund it will outweigh its profits. And any profits that are made will not come soon enough to assuage the dire economic hardships that Detroit and its citizens are facing today.