Joe Louis Arena could become happy friendly green park space, suggests absolutely no one

Okay, so a little inside dirt on how the journalistic sausages get made: Fairly often, the way a news article comes to be is that some reporter notices a little tidbit of an item, thinks, “This could be a great story!” and then takes it to their editor, who greenlights it. Then the reporter starts researching, and, also fairly often, it turns out that there isn’t much to support the initial premise. But the article is already assigned, and the initial legwork is already done. So instead, they find a quote or two that marginally support a flashy headline, file it, and then hope nobody notices how flimsy the whole thing is.

Which brings us to this:

Detroit Red Wings’ Joe Louis Arena to go green? ‘Anything is possible,’ riverfront official says

DETROIT, MI — The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, a non-profit organization that’s revitalized 5.5 miles of city waterway, could play a role in the future of Joe Louis Arena once the Detroit Red Wings move to a new home.

William Smith, the organization’s CFO, told on Wednesday it hasn’t ruled out any options now that Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch has city approval for a new $650 million arena and entertainment district north of The Joe.

“That would be an enormous jump of what our purpose and mission is right now,” said Smith, when asked if the organization would be interested in buying the city-owned Joe for redevelopment. “But, you know, anything is possible, anything is possible.”

Okay, so what do we actually have here? There’s a non-profit conservancy in Detroit that works on creating public space along the riverfront, and Joe Louis Arena is on the riverfront, and Joe Louis Arena is set to be torn down once the Red Wings move to their new taxpayer-subsidized home a few blocks away, so … sure, that’ll bring in a few hits! Especially if we put “green” in the headline! Kids today are all into that “green” stuff, right?

I’d further point out the irony of lauding the possibility of clearing land for use as public space when the whole argument for the new arena is that it will take vacant land and develop it — but then I’d have to also point out the irony of talking up “greening” a former sports venue site when the city of Detroit is already fighting to preserve as little as possible of the Tiger Stadium ballfield as public space, and I just don’t have the energy. How about we just agree that Detroit’s new nickname should be “Irony City” and be done with it?

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4 comments on “Joe Louis Arena could become happy friendly green park space, suggests absolutely no one

  1. I’m sensing an imminent meltdown, Neil. Maybe stop looking at things so rationally? Your brain will thank you.

  2. So, is it fair to say that no-one has specifically ruled out turning the soon-maybe-to-be former Joe Louis Arena into a high level radioactive waste repository either?

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