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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

House in favour of new home for Red Wings

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DETROIT -- Michigan's House approved a bill that could lead to the Detroit Red Wings finally getting a new home.

The bill was passed Thursday and now goes to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature. State senators approved the legislation last week.

Red Wings' owner Mike Ilitch currently leases aging Joe Louis Arena in downtown Detroit. Last week, he announced plans for a $650 million multi-use development, which would include an events centre where hockey games could be held.

The bill would allow tax dollars collected by Detroit's Downtown Development Authority to be used for the project. Already, the DDA has been allowed for nearly two decades to pay down Detroit's general obligation bonds with about $12.8 million a year that otherwise would have gone to education, Senate Democratic leader Gretchen Whitmer has said.

"Funding a private stadium with taxpayer dollars cannot be our priority at this time," House Democratic Caucus leaders said Thursday in a release. "The money that would go to a Red Wings stadium comes from local property taxes and millages that would otherwise go to the School Aid Fund and we are against the continuation of that transfer."

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 14, 2012 C2

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