Contractors, Suppliers Crowd Detroit Event for New Sports Arena, Entertainment District


DETROIT — More than 850 construction contractors and material suppliers from Detroit and across Michigan gathered together Tuesday at MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit to learn first-hand about construction and supply opportunities in the Detroit Sports and Entertainment District and its new Red Wings arena.

“This week’s event was another important step in our commitment to a Michigan-made, Detroit-built district and arena,” said Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings Inc. “By connecting Detroit companies and businesses from across the state together, we will help make sure that the economic benefits of this transformational initiative are reaped by as many Michigan residents and businesses as possible.”

Michigan-wide contractors and suppliers met with representatives from Olympia Development and its partners to gain a better understanding of anticipated construction needs and other important requirements to participate in the project.  At the event, Olympia Development also detailed the organization’s plan for working with its partners to achieve 30 percent Detroit business participation and 51 percent Detroit worker participation in the construction of the new arena and district.

“Olympia Development’s commitment to a Michigan Made, Detroit Built district and arena is great for businesses and workers in Detroit and throughout the state,” said Vince Nystrom, vice president of Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Pure Michigan Business Connect. “This is the same type of dedication we see in our Pure Michigan Business Connect program, which actively matches Michigan suppliers and buyers to grow our economy from within.”

Tuesday’s event was the second outreach event hosted by Olympia Development in last three weeks. In total, more than 1,100 Detroit and Michigan businesses have participated in these events for the district.

“These events demonstrate the continued commitment of the Ilitch family, and their faith in the resurgence of the city of Detroit,” said Douglass J. Diggs, president and CEO, Heritage Development Services LLC. “They’ve decided to invest in Detroit’s future by building partnerships with businesses, unions, educational institutions and creating a workforce for the future.”

Launch for the District will occur this fall. Office, retail and residential buildings — as well as the new arena — are scheduled to be complete by the summer of 2017. Construction of the arena and surrounding District is expected to generate at least $1.8 billion in total economic impact, 8,300 construction and construction-related jobs and 1,100 permanent jobs.  More than $100 million in income from the arena project alone is expected for Detroit residents, with significant additional income to be created through future private development.

Olympia Development and its partners will host additional outreach events in the coming months as construction bid packages are announced.  An event for Detroit residents interested in construction job opportunities is planned for Oct. 28.