DETROIT, Mich. – The new Detroit Red Wings arena is still a couple of years away, but one late night talk show host pointed out some flaws in a rant over the weekend.
On Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight on HBO, John Oliver took on the issue of sports teams receiving public funding for new arenas and stadiums. As one point of contention, he referred to the Detroit Red Wings receiving $280 million in taxpayer funds six days after the city filed for bankruptcy two years ago.
“Even though the owner of the Red Wings is Mike Ilitch, the founder of the Little Caesar’s Pizza chain,” he said, noting Ilitch’s empire is worth about $5.1 billion. “It’s hard to swallow. Sure, not as hard to swallow as Little Caesars Crazy Bread, with an assortment of Caesar dips. But still pretty hard.”
Detroit’s new arena is expected to open in the summer of 2017. The expectations are for the arena to bring more business downtown.
“Sports teams are successful businesses with wealthy owners and yet they still get our help,” he said.