The transfer of land for a new Detroit Red Wings arena, aka the only thing about the project the Detroit city council gets to vote on since their purse strings are now controlled by the state, will be voted on at a council meeting on Tuesday, after clearing the three-person planning and economic development committee yesterday. And council president Brenda Jones says her line in the sand is clear: She wants a guarantee that Detroit residents will receive jobs at the arena.
“We can look at a history forever, but at the end of the day if something is not in writing, and you know as well as I know, it means absolutely nothing,” she said. “That’s my concern. I’ve had that concern all along, and I still have that concern.”
Getting that promise in writing is definitely important — the Detroit Free Press article on this notes that Jones said “In the past, companies have claimed to be based in the city when they only have a phone set up there and their headquarters are elsewhere” — but it’s a relatively small concession for the Red Wings to make if they have to, especially considering it’s likely to be a relatively small number of jobs. Given that a few months ago the council was making noise about insisting that the city actually get a fair price for its land, at this rate the price of approval could come down to coupons for 50% off of Red Wings dog collars.