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Contractors on new Red Wings arena face fines for lack of Detroit workers

Oct 12, 2016

Detroit officials say an estimated half-million dollars in fines have been levied on contractors working on the new Red Wings arena because the companies haven't hired enough Detroit residents.

Little Caesars Arena's developer, Olympia Development of Michigan, is required to ensure at least 51% of the workers live in Detroit.

Louis Aguilar and Christine Ferretti of The Detroit News report that goal hasn't been met during certain periods of construction:

A recent report to city officials indicates that about 40 percent of the 750 workers at the Little Caesars Arena site are Detroiters, according to sources familiar with the data. There is some concern that percentage could go lower because of a shortage of skilled-trade workers such as electricians, according to a consultant involved in the arena workforce.

Olympia Development referred comment to Douglass Diggs, of Heritage Realty Services LLC. Diggs says Detroit and developers are working together on the issue, noting that a lack of skilled-trade workers who live in Detroit has been an ongoing issue for years.

The 51%-goal was part of an agreement to allow $250 million in taxpayer-backed bonds to help fund construction of the arena.