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Little Caesars Arena

Protesters kneel while singing the national anthem in front of Little Caesar's Arena.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s new Little Caesar’s Arena opened with controversial first act Kid Rock Tuesday night, and there were some protesters mixed in with the larger concert-going crowd.

Protesters took a knee as they sang the “Star Spangled Banner” in the middle of Woodward Avenue outside the arena just before the concert got underway.

That echoed NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s on-field protests of recent police violence against black people.

aerial view of little caesars arena
Michigan Radio

It’s taken 25 years for the Ilitch family’s dreams of a shiny new home for the Detroit Red Wings to come true.

Little Caesars Arena officially opens tonight with a Kid Rock concert.

The $823 million stadium will be the new home for both the Red Wings and the Detroit Pistons. The public’s share of the tab so far has been $324.1 million

John Auchter / Michigan Radio

If you've read the cartoon, you've already seen enough of my words. So I only have three quick observations to add here:

sign that says "DEFEND DACA"
Flickr user Harrie van Veen https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

President Donald Trump announced yesterday that he'll end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program in six months. Gov. Rick Snyder issued a statement opposing the move and urged Congress to act quickly to clarify the status of so-called "DREAMers."

Morning Edition host Doug Tribou and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss how pressure from Snyder and other governors could affect decisions made by Congress. 

An aerial view of Little Caesar's Arena.
Michigan Radio

Gov. Snyder, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, and others joined the Ilitch family to cut the ribbon on the new Little Caesar’s Arena complex on Tuesday.

Both the Detroit Red Wings and Pistons will play home games there within weeks.

The arena is touted as the anchor of the new “District Detroit,” a 50-block redevelopment project just north of downtown Detroit that also includes new housing and retail.

The Palace of Auburn Hills
Kevin Ward / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Another Detroit-area arena will close once the new Little Caesars Arena opens in September.

Palace Sports & Entertainment (PS&E) announced Thursday that a sold-out performance by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullets on September 23 will be the Palace’s final show.

It has been known since November that the Pistons will be joining the Detroit Red Wings at the Little Caesars Arena, and Thursday’s announcement comes after months of speculation about the future of the now former-home of the Detroit Pistons.

Little Caesars Area being built in June of 2016.
Rick Briggs / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Let me start out by saying that Robert Davis, usually referred to as a Highland Park activist, is a man easy to despise. He has won a reputation as a gadfly who is constantly filing lawsuits demanding transparency in government and attacking corruption.

Some see him as a crusading knight in shining armor and others as a relentless self-promoter trying to make a name and have us forget his past.

An artists' vision of Little Caesars Arena.
Olympia Entertainment

Last month, Detroit city council approved $34.5 million in bonds to help pay for the Pistons move to Little Caesars Arena. That property-tax money would have gone to schools, but will now be reimbursed to the teams' owners. Now, the NBA and the companies that own the Detroit Pistons and Red Wings have been added to a federal lawsuit against Detroit's public school district.

Activist Robert Davis filed the lawsuit. He says Detroiters should've been allowed to vote on how their tax money is used. Senior political analyst Jack Lessenberry tells "Morning Edition" host Doug Tribou whether he thinks Davis has a chance of winning the case. 


Little Caesars Arena Construction site in downtown, with a Pistons banner
Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

Can $34.5 million of public money be used to reimburse two billionaires building a sports arena? That’s what a federal lawsuit will try to answer.

An artists' vision of Little Caesars Arena.
Olympia Entertainment

The Detroit Pistons are one step closer to playing downtown again.

Despite backlash from some residents, Detroit city council has approved $34.5 million in bonds so the Pistons can move into the Little Caesars Arena downtown.

Some Detroiters are unhappy with the deal because the bonds are taxpayer funded with money originally intended for schools and parks. 

Council President Brenda Jones was one of two members to vote no on the bonds.

An artists' vision of Little Caesars Arena.
Olympia Entertainment

A federal judge has knocked down an initial effort to stop the Detroit Pistons from moving to a new downtown arena unless there’s a public vote on financing the project.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith heard arguments in a federal lawsuit, filed by activists Robert Davis and D. Etta Wilcoxon. It alleges team owners and city officials didn't seek public approval before using public funds for the project, in violation of state law.

Little Caesars Arena Construction site in downtown, with a Pistons banner
Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

A federal lawsuit seeks to block some public funding of Little Caesars Arena in Detroit and a new Detroit Pistons headquarters without a vote from city residents.

The lawsuit Thursday says Michigan law prohibits spending school property tax revenue on the projects because a tax voters approved in 2012 was to be used exclusively for Detroit's public schools.

Joe Louis Arena during its final season
Cynthia Canty / Michigan Radio

It is the end of multiple eras for sports fans in Michigan and specifically metro Detroit. Last night, the Detroit Red Wings played their final game at Joe Louis Arena, a place they have called home since 1979.

Tonight, the Detroit Pistons will play their last home game at the Palace of Auburn Hills, an arena where they've played since 1988.

For many Detroit Tigers fans, the demolition of Tiger Stadium remains a source of anger.
Michael Kumm / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Mike Ilitch certainly left his mark on downtown Detroit, beginning with the major renovation of the Fox Theatre in 1988 and continuing to this day with the ongoing construction of Little Caesars Arena for the Red Wings and the Pistons.

There are those who found a lot to criticize in the way the Ilitch family acquired downtown property, maintained that property, and financed its arenas.

Michigan Radio's senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry joined Stateside to talk about Ilitch's legacy when it comes to the business side of his life and what he did for the city of Detroit.

tyler scott / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - The return of professional basketball to downtown Detroit adds another piece to the city's fast-paced economic rebound two years out of bankruptcy, but some say all neighborhoods have to share in the turnaround.

The Pistons are expected to start next season at Little Caesars Arena, which is the centerpiece of a coming 50-block entertainment district in a part of downtown that's already nearly at capacity with new residents and new businesses.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

The Detroit Pistons are coming back to ... well, Detroit.

This Week in Michigan Politics, Morning Edition host Doug Tribou and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about who stands to win and who stands to lose after the Pistons leave the Palace of Auburn Hills for the new Little Caesar's Arena in downtown Detroit.

They also discuss the State's argument that literacy is not a constitutional right when it comes to a lawsuit filed on behalf of Detroit school children, and the future of Detroit's two major newspapers.


Seated left  to right, Detroit Mayor Mike Dugan, Illitch Holdings CEO Chris Illitch, Pistons owner Tom Gores, NBA commissioner Adam Silver
Tyler Scott

Detroit’s professional basketball team, The Pistons, is saying goodbye to its stadium at The Palace of Auburn Hills and relocating to downtown Detroit.

 

Little Caesars Arena is still under construction in downtown Detroit. Beginning in the Fall of 2017, the new stadium will host both the Red Wings, Detroit’s national hockey team, and now the Pistons.

 

With the Pistons relocating to a shared space downtown, Mayor Mike Duggan says Detroit will be the only city with four major sports teams in the downtown district.

 

Little Caesars Arena under construction in June 2016.
Rick Briggs / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

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.