Things are starting to heat up in the “MLS to Detroit” conversation. As previously reported by DSN, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores have banded together to push forward efforts to bring Major League Soccer to Detroit.
On April 27th, Gilbert and Pistons Executive Arn Tellem went into detail on the plans for the prospective MLS location. The group’s investment would include a $1 billion plan that includes not only the featured 25,000 seat MLS stadium, but also includes developments around the stadium that would include hotels, restaurants, and business offices. The area of the aforementioned development project would be planned in the area of the controversial Wayne County Jail site.
The issue standing in the way of Gilbert and Tellem’s development plan lies in the fact that Wayne County still owns the jail site and have reportedly turned down Gilbert’s previous offers to buy the site that has already had over $150 million invested into construction.
The plan does, however, detail a possible solution to appease both parties. According to the Detroit Free Press’ report on Gilbert’s plan, the jail site, along with the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice and the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility, would move to Mound Road to make way for the projected development area.
The main issue of the plan revolves around the Wayne County Jail site and Gilbert made a few statements to answer those concerns:
“This is going to take way more analysis,” Gilbert said. “What’s the gap right now between building the criminal justice system where it was planned originally with the jail and an alternative site. What are the actual hard dollar differences?”
“There’s a lot of work to be done,” Gilbert said, saying that specifics on the square footage had yet to be worked out. “Right now, what we’re trying to do is paint the vision for everybody that absolutely can be done.”
Arn Tellem also commented on the push for the MLS to come to Detroit:
“It’s a perfect match between the MLS and Detroit,”said Tellem, who is vice chairman of Palace Sports & Entertainment. “It starts first and foremost with the fans and their passion for the game. As all of you know, there is considerable support and great interest in soccer throughout Detroit and Michigan.”
Below are collected images from the MLS Detroit plan announcement: