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March 16, 2012

Silverdome owner seeking tax break to pay for renovations to empty stadium

Looks like we finally have the answer to the question of what the guy who bought the Pontiac Silverdome two years ago was thinking, and it's "have taxpayers bail me out so I can renovate the place":

The owner of the Pontiac Silverdome seeks a five-year freeze on property tax payments so the firm can afford a multimillion-dollar upgrade of the empty stadium that is still struggling 10 years after the Detroit Lions left.
Toronto-based Triple Properties wants the tax abatement to help finance a proposed overhaul of the 37-year-old, 80,000-seat domed stadium, a lobbyist for the company said Wednesday.

To be fair, the amount that Silverdome owner Andreas Apostolopoulos is asking for isn't much: Current property taxes on the place only amount to $80,000 a year, so a five-year freeze isn't likely to get very far into the six digits, if that much. Though the renovations would be pretty minor, too, costing maybe $4 million and including such decidedly unsexy items as new drainage systems and emergency exits.

In any event, it looks like Apostopoulos is unlikely to get his tax break, as Pontiac emergency manager Lou Schimmel — in case you missed it, half of Michigan local government is now run by these unelected political appointees — just about laughed off the request at a hearing yesterday, snorting, "I thought you were going to make it hard for me. I thought you were going to come in here with a very sophisticated presentation with elaborate drawings about something." D'oh, Apostopoulos forgot the clear plastic binder!

COMMENTS

Wait if he bought the Silverdome for cheap why exactly does he need a tax break? : V

Posted by PRC on March 16, 2012 12:56 PM

Because it costs a couple of million a year to operate, and generates pretty much zero revenue.

Or, alternatively: "Because he can."

Posted by Neil deMause on March 16, 2012 01:35 PM

Tax Break + Upgrades = More Entertainment in Metro Detroit

More Entertainment in Metro Detroit = City of Pontiac Benefits from People Coming into the City

No Tax Break = Angry Owner = Eventual Sale = Big Empty Parking Space that Brings 0 People to Pontiac....Unless they want to "park their cars until they drop".....Stupid not to get behind this

Posted by Silverdome Fan on March 18, 2012 06:35 PM

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