Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Revitalization of the Detroit Entertainment District | Introduction

By Michael Young

In a previous blog I briefly began to explain my thesis abstract. I have gathered more research and information since then and wanted to share with you my preliminary introduction to the Revitalization of Detroit.
            What would happen to the country’s economy if the sports industry were to completely shut down operation? Just how significant is the world of pucks, balls, and competition to a city? The sports industry brings in roughly $14.3 billion earnings per year and supplies roughly 456,000 jobs (Burrow, 2013). Professional sports not only have a large impact on a cities’ economy, but also plays an important role in the live, work, play equation. They have given people a purpose to unite, communicate, and share memorable experiences. Over the past decades, stadium infrastructure has been an important catalyst to the revitalization of downtowns in several cities.
            Detroit, Michigan is the 18th most populous city in the United States. Historically, Detroit was a major node of commerce and global trade. It is referred to as the Motor City, because it is notably home to America’s top three automobile companies, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. However, over the past 60 years the city has suffered major demographic and economic decline, due in large part to the downturn of the automobile industry. Companies began branching out and opening more assembly plants throughout the United States which eliminated numerous of jobs in Detroit.
            Professional sports teams draw millions of spectators to their venues each and every year. Stadiums and arenas use such a high demand of energy; it is imperative to incorporate premium sustainable design techniques. This thesis proposal will be broken down into two parts. Part one is to design a LEED, Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, Platinum Certified hockey arena, home to the Detroit Red Wings. The current home for the Red Wings is The Joe Louis Arena and is the fourth oldest arena in the National Hockey League. This would be the first arena in the NHL to obtain a Platinum rating. LEED structures are certified high performance buildings that save money and resources while creating renewable, clean energy. The second phase of this proposal focuses on laying out a master plan creating an entertainment district around the venues. The site for this project is located adjacent to Comerica Park, Ford Field, and the Fox Theatre along Highway 75. Stadiums and arenas on their own only have the ability to create a small amount of new spending. However, they do have the influence to generate a surge of spending to areas around the stadium with infill such as: restaurants, bars, hotels, retail stores, or office buildings. By bringing back life to the entertainment district of Detroit, new growth and development can rejuvenate the downtown and bring this city back to where it use to be.

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