Grand Designs Podcast – Episode 14 – Little Caesars Arena and Broken Promises Transcript

Announcer:                        00:00                     You’re listening to the Podcast Detroit network. Visit for more information.

Jerry:                                     00:20                     This is grand design podcast with DJ and Jerry Grand. Where we link the chains of reason of sports, politics and culture.

DJ:                                          00:36                     Welcome back to the Grand Designs Podcast. I’m DJ Grand and I’m joined again with my brother Jerry.

Jerry:                                     00:42                     Hello.

DJ:                                          00:43                     And temporarily with Ryan still.

Ryan:                                     00:46                     I don’t know they keep pulling me out of this.

DJ:                                          00:51                     Uh, to let you know how to get a hold of us, is our website. Email us at granddesignspodcast@Yahoo. You can subscribe to us on iTunes and Youtube and follow us on Instagram @granddesignspodcast and on follow us on Twitter @granddesignspod. Um, before we start in the major topic of what we’re gonna be talking about today. Uh, back in episode four we talked about how officiating and professional sports and it really played out in a bad way for the, in the NHL.

Jerry:                                     01:31                     Now I want to make a point that we also discussed that the referees in Nhl do not want to be the outcome or the result of the game. And I was told this by a rep who is still currently a referee in the NHL, that they do not want to basically decide the game. So in overtime the whistles go away and it’s pretty much let the boys play. That didn’t happen

DJ:                                          01:54                     with the Golden Knights and the San Jose Sharks I saw and I did not, if you wanted to call it a penalty maybe, but a five minute major that actually turn the game around for the San Jose Sharks and gave them the series. Talk about deciding it for a team. That’s exactly what they did.

Jerry:                                     02:15                     Well, yeah. Um, the Golden Knights were up three nothing with 10 minutes to go on the game I turned on at the penalty was already called the power play already started and I couldn’t believe when I watched literally score four goals and the whole momentum the game was over when they just go to the second goal. You could just tell that the Knights, because it was a bad call. I didn’t know at the time, but I could just tell that their energy, had just gone down. So it definitely turned the game. So the NHL, I’m not mistaken. Come out and apologized and next day admitting that they made a mistake, which is…

DJ:                                          02:47                     And also, basically, punish that crew and not allow them to ref another Stanley Cup finals

Jerry:                                     02:53                     and they shouldn’t, but that doesn’t help the Knights because they had that game in that series. That was game seven. That is not time as if we’re going to believe the a referee that didn’t want to decide the game he not only decided that game. He decided the series so

DJ:                                          03:07                     and perhaps the Stanley Cup, itself. If San Jose goes that far and it totally has ruined the playoffs for me for the rest of the playoffs, it’s shot to me because it’s not just the wrong team is moved on because of the refs.

Jerry:                                     03:23                     It’s something like the NFL with the Rams and the Saints, the wrong team won and they got punished in the Superbowl.

DJ:                                          03:28                     It’s, it’s sad but once again, the point is that the refs are the ones that caused this and there was the ones saying they didn’t want have anything to do with it. Anyways, the topic for today, the major topic is about the Illitches and the Little Caesars arena and what they’ve done with a district Detroit, uh, which give a little overview of it. The Ilitches bought a whole bunch of property long before they, uh, got the, or made the a Little Caesars arena and they, using their lobbyists in both Lansing and Detroit city council. They got them to change the laws, the city council to switch over some money for them. It was once, um, earmarked for schools and they switched it to sports arenas and sporting events. 300 to the tune of 324 million of tax payer’s money. And they promised, um, office space, retail as well as housing. And they’ve got, and they’ve delivered very little of that.

Jerry:                                     04:39                     Well, I’ve been doing my hardest his whole entire week to look for a reason to maybe back to Ilitches up here because I just can’t see a company that go in and make such a promise and just flat out renege. Uh, so the only research that I’ve done that I can find out is for these neighborhoods and the retail. Now the neighborhood, I’m talking apartments, condos, not the individual housing neighborhoods. Uh, the retail space, I think they made a grave error in judging their demand for such locations or such business be it the condos, the apartments and the re, uh, the office space. Because before anything can be built or any ground be broken, the insurance companies and banks have worked it out to where 50% of those buildings must be a sold, so, you got to have the Condo, the occupancy, there’s a hundred rooms they want 50 room’s already paid for before they’ll even break ground. And that’s the insurance company and the banks. Well, most of these projects they’ve come up way short. And I, one of the, an article that I got here from, uh, the Nolan Findlay’s show, basically he brings up that one of the obstacles reportedly a tripping up the project is the Illitches had a partnership with the company will between Olympia Development, which the Ilitches own, and a Baltimore based Cordish Cos. They are one of the most successful big project outfits in the country as far as development. Uh, their relationship has broken off or seriously frayed. Now, Olympia doesn’t have the infrastructure to handle a massive development. So before all this started, they got into a deal with this company to assist them in the development while the relationship has broken off, frayed, it could be because they didn’t fill it up and now it’s just gone. The problem I’ve had is the images are not explaining that. They’re not telling that they’re coming out and just warping with a spin of a release statement, how they’ve developed the city and they’ve given $50 million and they’ve done this and that to where the area we’re speaking about from the deal that they agreed to, they’ve gone dark and they’re not explaining anything for it, and its kind of opened up to where there are people like, uh, uh, representative Rashid Tahib and she’s just going, she’s on what they call anti-development activists. And the Illitches are almost like giving her, this stuff on a silver platter to use against the development of Detroit. Um, you can go into the details of what Detroit was supposed to be as far as the link between downtown and midtown cause it’s just parking lots. And again, I tried hard to defend them and this is the only thing I could see, but at the same time, why haven’t they said that? Why am I the one having to look this up? And I’m guessing because I can’t figure out why they would literally 300 and what? Forty million twenty million to the taxpayers money?

DJ:                                          07:26                     324 million of the tax payers, but the whole project was $863 million project. It included a 20,000 seat state of the art arena, anchoring 12 acres of mixed use buildings and a parking garage. And it was supposed to be the centerpiece of the district Detroit, the family’s wide or $2 Billion, 50 city block development plan.

Jerry:                                     07:49                     See now part of the problem is, yes, it’s not being uh, developed. And there are a lot of people who live in those neighborhoods. It just flatland. They’re just buying it up and it’s parking lots and they’re making money off the parking lots. But another problem is, and I don’t know who negotiated the deal, uh, but Detroit’s getting screwed as far the concessions, the parking, the merchandise, and you go to most of the big cities, I don’t want to say all, but most of them and portion is going to the city. Now, the Illitches don’t own LCA, They lease it from the Detroit Authority. So Detroit owns that building. So why they wouldn’t want part of the, of the profits from the, uh, uh, concession stands and that’s it really not a part of the story. The story is about developing it, but they kind of went one up and they’re just really killing Detroit and not sharing any, I don’t want to say share. They’re not given any of that up. What should they should get because they own the building of concessions?

DJ:                                          08:43                     I think it is part of the story. Um, the Ilitch’s negotiated in a time when Detroit was bleak, when they were in the middle of one of the worst bankruptcies. And the worst in United States history. And so they came with a lot of leverage and the city had none. And the city was desperate to get any kind of commerce into the downtown Detroit area. And in doing so, they agreed to something that ended up hurting them. The old Joe Louis, the Ilitches split 50 50, with their, uh, the tickets and the merchandise and parking with the city. And this particular deal, the city got none of that.

Jerry:                                     09:21                     Right. But I don’t think that had anything to do with the development of the property that they promised to develop. This is just saying, hey,

DJ:                                          09:27                     It’s another example of them screwing over the city.

Jerry:                                     09:30                     No, the either had a shrewd developer or I’m sorry, developer, a negotiator or the city. of Detroit had a bad one because the city of Detroit should have said, no, we’re getting whatever hell, 30%, not 50 something would have been better than nothing

DJ:                                          09:43                     This is why I said they were desperate and they did it because of the desperation at the times. When this all went down, it was desperate times. The city was going dark.

Jerry:                                     09:51                     It kind of makes it look even worse for the Illitches, it kind of makes it looks like I think they are taking advantage and that makes it to where they could have, now they don’t have to, but they could have said, hey, 20% of the city to help you out. Um, in which now I can see where you’re tying it into because it makes them look worse because they’re not developing this from what I get is supposed to do was to develop a midtown that connects them to the downtown, which I thought would be was residential neighborhoods, but I was wrong. It’s more condos, apartments and office space. But again, they don’t, I mean they don’t, they didn’t get the people to come down. Now Bedrock Corporation or Bedrock company which Dan Gilbert owns this makes it even look worse. They’re developing, they’re building the buildings and they’re doing what they said the Ilitches aren’t. So I’m having a hard time finding out why.

DJ:                                          10:39                     Well, this is why I think those concessions are important because I think the city probably gave up those concessions thinking they were going to get something back after it was developed,

Jerry:                                     10:48                     the vibrant city kind of things?

DJ:                                          10:50                     Yes, they were going to get something in the end and it turns out the Ilitches totally flubbed on their part of the deal. My biggest part of the problem is I’m a capitalist, but this is the height of crony capitalism. They went to the government to get the money. If it was their own money, they could do what they want, build all the parking lot, parking lots they want and use that money if they want, but the fact that they went and got taxpayers and worse than that, most of the taxpayers are not going to benefit from the Red Wings. Most those who watch the Red Wings, go to see the Red Wings are from the suburbs, so the taxpayers of the city of Detroit, those taxpayers are not getting (much benefit), they’re getting screwed.

Jerry:                                     11:32                     Does Duggin or the city council had anything to do with this? Because they voted those people in and they vote them in. They have to take what those guys set up, whatever deals that may be as bad as they may be. And if that’s the case here,

DJ:                                          11:46                     that doesn’t wipe out the fact they’re being screwed, even if that’s the case, they’re being screwed. And, and the problem, once again I have is that you say something, if you have integrity, you follow through with it. They knew it was a possibility. These are smart people are talking about they don’t build a pizza company in a billion dollar industry, worldwide industry not knowing what could happen in the future. They are smart people. They knew that it was going to be hard to fill these residential districts, yet they still promised they would. Worse than that, there’s no work going on right now. It’s all parking lots. There’s no work being done on any residential. So few office spaces that I was going up there, we’re talking about what I read that the Mike Ilitch School of business was planned to open at the end of last year and I haven’t heard of them opening yet, but that was part of the plan. Uh, but once again, no residential. They have. They have totally just forgotten about the residential.

Jerry:                                     12:44                     I think in Crain’s magazine, the Ilitch, ah, the son, I forget his name, who’s running the company now, he brought up about the Illitch school of business in Wayne State as already being open as being one of the gems of what they’ve done. So it’s an open?

DJ:                                          12:58                     I haven’t heard anything. If it is open, there’s one promise, but that’s once again, it’s not the residential part of it.

Jerry:                                     13:04                     Well, the, well, the residential part, again, from what I researched, I don’t, they can’t get the 50% or the minimum of buyers. Without that, they’re not going to build.

DJ:                                          13:16                     Then they shouldn’t have promised it. So they should never promise that. If they knew that that was a possibility they had to offer, there are smart people

Jerry:                                     13:22                     I’m going to agree. They bit off more than they could chew.

DJ:                                          13:24                     They should have never promised that. And the fact that they promised it and are not following through on it blame is on the Ilitches. They took taxpayer money, but on that, on that contingent.

Jerry:                                     13:32                     What I’m trying to bring up is, that’s why they’re not going to build these office buildings until they get the 50% in office buildings or the condominiums and apartments. They need 50% residential. People have already paid the lease for whatever, six months to a year, and they’re not even close to that. So if they’re not close to getting that now, and they have a problem with a major developer in this company is the big dogs of developing areas and they’re not doing it now, uh, nothing’s going to happen. It’s not getting built because there’s no people. And I know I heard the beginning when this all started, when they first started the, uh, proposals to go through when they’re talking about moving into LCA, that it was going to be a grand joint adventure, was going to be a new city. Uh, the people would come, they’re not coming.

Jerry:                                     14:18                     Well, they also promised jobs to those jobs didn’t materialize. Um, I got from, uh, the Ilitch family’s Olympic development. Olympia development brought large bought large parcels of land in the area known as Cass corridor for years promising to build an entertainment and residential district around the new hockey arena. Currently instead of a dense urban area, it looks like more like a suburban stadium surrounded by parking lots. New Construction continues to go up in the area, surrounding the area, but no residential has opened and areas outside of the arena continued to be leveled for parking. Crain’s has reported that a residential high rise could be planned overlooking Comerica. In recent months, Olympia has backed away from the residential plans instead moving to build more office space. They’re reneging on the residential part and that was a major part of what they did because that’s tax revenue that Detroit would get and that’s why I think Detroit said or the city said, we’ll, we’ll give you your concessions. You can have your parking money but we’ll, we’ll, and in exchange we’ll get the tax revenue, but they’re not there. They’re getting the part in the Ilitches or getting the pocket and money, but the city’s not getting the tax revenue

Jerry:                                     15:32                     They to like the Illitches, made critical error.

DJ:                                          15:36                     They were desperate because of the times

Jerry:                                     15:38                     They made a critical error.

DJ:                                          15:39                     That doesn’t, that doesn’t excuse the Ilitch holdings for doing what they did, that that may be the case and you could be right, but that’s still not an excuse. This is pure crony capitalism.

Jerry:                                     15:48                     No, I agree. I found a little article that basically says speaking in favor of the arena project and it justification new jobs and economic development during this segment entitled Motown blues with Livonia Republican Representative John Waltz, he himself championed the 2012 legislation that allowed the eventual public funding for new area, a new arena construction. That right tells you what you said earlier that they literally took the money from other areas and put it for arena construction. All right,

DJ:                                          16:16                     so that’s the money originally was earmarked for schools. Now, Detroit schools are bad enough as it is. I’m not for public schools. I’m against public schools, but still to take the money that was allocated for schools and to put it to sports and then not come through with their promises. There’s are moral shortcomings there on the Illitches

Jerry:                                     16:35                     Before coming to this podcast. I was watching the news and I heard the union representative for the Detroit teachers, and if I’m not mistaken, I heard June 30th of this year, the contract ends and they want $10,000 these are the teachers in Detroit are paid $10,000 less on average than anyone else in the country as far as teachers go. So they’re asking for that $10,000 and that money could have went to the a Little Caesars arena

DJ:                                          16:58                     While I guess a separate issue, but Detroit schools and so worse than the rest of the country

Jerry:                                     17:03                     he brought that up

DJ:                                          17:04                     They should be paid less.

Jerry:                                     17:05                     He brought that up. But I bring that only because linking it to, they took it from the education as going to come back and bite him in the June 30th when they renegotiate and there’s no money to pay these teachers now. Yeah, they’re the worst. I get it. But the money was taken, wasn’t the schools, and now it’s for Little Caesars arena and there’s no benefit because they’re not developing and look, they’ve got to come to the conclusion or Detroit does. It’s not going to be built. These people are not coming. No one’s buying the business office space. No one’s buying the apartments and have no one buys the apartments. They’re not going to build it. They have to achieve this minimal 50% occupancy. And until they do, and right now I think one building just started like two weeks ago and that was breaking ground because they achieved and I, I don’t know the number, I heard from five to nine office, our apartments condominiums. So that could be five but only one because that’s how long it’s taken to get that one building the occupancy. No, they made a critical error in judgment. I don’t even think they cared. They what you were saying, they saw it and they saw a situation where they had a weak opponent. It took advantage of that opponent, which being Detroit, the city of Detroit, and to make it worse, I think they brought the Pistons from Auburn into Detroit to make it more affordable because now they’re paying a lease too. It’s not just the Red Wings.

DJ:                                          18:23                     Well, I see more of the city of Detroit using the Pistons than the Red Wings. So at least that the Detroiters, some of them. There are, obviously is, um, suburbanites that follow the Pistons. But at least some of those Detroiters are going to get something out of that tax where the Red Wings very, very little Detroit or city’s residents of Detroit has filed the Red Wings. So they’re getting nothing out of that side of it. But to give the Illitches their fair share, I want to read their holding statement that they brought out when HBO…

Jerry:                                     18:52                     This disappoints me though. So we’ll go ahead.

DJ:                                          18:55                     Um, the Illitch Holdings statement is “our organization has six decades of dedication, commitment, and positive impact throughout the broader Detroit community. We are exceptionally proud of our accomplishments including the creation of thousands of jobs, the restoration on various historic buildings and the development of downtown sports and entertainment district that has served since the opening of Little Caesars arena. It Is unfortunate when a media outlet emphasizes the voices of a critical few and not the voices of the many who would present the positive story that is taking place across our city. The result was a self interested, sensationalized and inaccurate report designed to attract viewers instead of a balanced report on the rebirth of Detroit and our contributions to city’s…to the the city’s turnaround. Public funds for the arena came from specific tax dollars allocated to fund a catalyst development project that would drive economic growth in the city of Detroit. Our commitment to the city, was to develop a $450 million arena and within five years deliver $200 million in additional development directly or by others. The reality is that we exceeded our commitment and also know that this catalyzed numerous other development projects in and around the arena, including a variety of residential. We invested over $863 million in a state of the art award winning arena and are on track to have over $200 million in private development completed this year roughly five years ahead of schedule. We remain undeterred in our commitment to the city and it’s bright future. We will continue to invest in successful projects that will drive job creation, economic growth and enhance for years to come, the quality of life for Detroiters.” Now my problem with that statement is it doesn’t talk about district Detroit at all. It talks about what they did in the past as if that that sets aside or is okay, in the past, what I think they mean is is the Fox.

Jerry:                                     20:51                     Who wrote that statement, do you know? Does it say?

DJ:                                          20:53                     It’s from the Ilitch holding statement. That’s from the Illitch Holdings statement, that’s from them.

Jerry:                                     20:56                     What they don’t understand, I think they met probably made a huge error because they said there they gave what, $800 million into city of Detroit?

DJ:                                          21:03                     No, the $863 million was for the state of the art award winning according to this statement.

Jerry:                                     21:10                     That’s of their money?

DJ:                                          21:12                     Thus the total cost for the arena, not their money

Jerry:                                     21:14                     Oh, ok,

DJ:                                          21:14                     The $324 million of that came from the city of Detroit.

Jerry:                                     21:17                     What you are also pointing out with the Pistons, they also, I don’t know if the, how they did it, if it’s through the legislation, but they got more bonds to pay for the retrofitting of LCA because it was at first all the Red Wings and the Pistons came in, they had to get rid of those red seats so they didn’t pay for it. They went and got more bonds, which is $34 million. That’s changed the seats. That wasn’t their money

DJ:                                          21:41                     Once again, Crony Capitalism.

Jerry:                                     21:42                     So here we go right back to it. And they left that completely out there when he’s talking about what he did for the city. And it’s not really, from that statement, I don’t hear. That’s why I’m disappointed. I don’t hear one thing about the project involving the buildup in between, uh, LCA and what Dan Gilbert’s doing. That was the whole goal and nothing’s been done. Now. I wish they’d come out and bring up the point that, hey, we can’t get the people down here to build them. I wish they’d say that.

DJ:                                          22:08                     Well, here’s the problem. They had a chance to talk to a Real Sports HBO. They didn’t. They refused to talk and worse than that, the Crain’s business tried talking to them. Now if you’re going to talk to anyone, that’s it. That’s a reputable business publication. Those are the ones that talk to and then refuse to talk to them. That shows either cowardice or they’re admitting their failure. Why wouldn’t they talk? Why wouldn’t they? At least to Cranes, why wouldn’t they?

Jerry:                                     22:35                     Embarrassment? It hasn’t gone like they should

DJ:                                          22:38                     If they were right though, according to the statement, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

Jerry:                                     22:41                     That’s just it. That statement and they know that’s where they made the statement. That’s where they made that statement.

DJ:                                          22:46                     PR what this is.

Jerry:                                     22:46                     Correct, that’s a spin and they know they can’t spin it on TV with Crains or HBO because the person opposite be it train or I forget who the Hbo Guy is, but they’re going to be held accountable. This statement here, there’s no one holds them accountable. They’re writing their story, their narrative or their why in this statement here to where they couldn’t do that. If there’d be interviewed and that’s why you’ll be (called) coward. I’m going to say they’d be held accountable. They be embarrassed because these points will be brought up and they couldn’t tell you. Now that brings me to where there’s something more than just my theory because I’ve looked it up and the only thing I could find is that it’s just a theory that there, they can’t get people to come down in the office or the apartments.

DJ:                                          23:29                     That’s still no excuse, but just a, it was Real Sports’ David Scott who tried to interview them and he and the, he came empty that he, no one from the Illitch company or the Ilitches themselves would talk to him.

Jerry:                                     23:40                     It’s tough in this day to find people accountable, but I don’t understand it. If that was the case, and maybe it’s not, maybe I’m completely wrong on this, but I, why can’t they come and say, listen, we made a mistake. We thought people would come. We’ve only got one building filled at 50% occupancy. The rest, we haven’t met that plateau, that goal yet. And I think people understand that.

DJ:                                          23:59                     So let me get this straight. So the excuses, they haven’t come to fill the, the uh, residential area. So we’re not going to build that, but we’ll still build nothing but parking lots and take all the revenue from the parking lots and parking garages. And that’s fine. We can do that. See it. They want it. They want the best of both worlds, they’re taking both sides

Jerry:                                     24:18                     They’re coming up with, they’re looking bad on this deal because again, they’re not explaining it, but if it is that they have to have a minimum occupancy and they don’t have it, how they’re going to build it.

DJ:                                          24:29                     They shouldn’t have promised it.

Jerry:                                     24:30                     No, no, I agree. I totally, I agree. But let’s get, how are they going to build it now? Cause that that’s where we’re at. We want it built, we want to have the apartments and these office spaces built. Now what I think it also, um, with the insurance companies are involved in this because back in the thirties with the Empire State Building that went 20 years before it turned a profit and the insurance companies and I worked for an insurance company and these guys, they’re cruel. They weren’t all your payments, but then come even the life insurance, but when it comes down to make the claim you passed away, it was $100,000 pay out. Well, they’re going to go back and say, well, the birth dates wrong. So we deny your claim and they win. Their current company saying, look, we want your money but we’re, we don’t want to give you money back. And they’re doing the same thing here. We’re not, we’re not gonna let the bank payroll or bank this until you get this occupancy because if you don’t, we’re going to be on the hook to pay the bank their losses. And we’re not even going to underwrite this until they meet that criteria. And I think that’s (it), no one’s going to come.

DJ:                                          25:29                     From the Detroit city point of view, why are your problems my problems?

Jerry:                                     25:33                     Again, a good question. They never should have promised it, but at the end of the day, that’s where we’re at and this is why you’re right. It’s not your problem. I have a problem and that should be the Illitch’s. We can’t, I can’t fill these, and we’ve got, how do we, then they got to discuss now how to get people down here. We made a critical error in saying, “We thought we could fill it up” and we can’t.

DJ:                                          25:53                     What makes them look really bad, is they filled up with nothing but parking lots. They have no problem building the parking lot that makes them look so atrociously bad. If you look downtown around or it’s not even downtown, they call it midtown, but around the Little Caesars arena, it is blight and the arena has been out for two or three years now. They could, they could at least on more than just build parking lots and parking garages. They, the Illitches own so many buildings, empty, vacant buildings around there and they’re just sitting there doing nothing. Why did they buy them if they weren’t going to do something with them?

Jerry:                                     26:29                     I can’t recall the iconic bar or restaurant that the Illitch’s, uh, Olympia development just purchased for 2.2 million on the Cass Corridor. The common guesses, what you’re just saying another parking lot, they want you to take it down. But again, the owner sold it to them and is as vacant now. There’s nothing there. It goes along with you about the blight out of what they’re gonna do with it. Uh, but again, if it is parking lots and they’re just making themselves look worse, so the Illitch’s, I don’t know how they’re going to get themselves out of this.

DJ:                                          26:59                     They could get by fulfilling their promises, that’s the only way.

Jerry:                                     27:02                     It’s not going to happen.

DJ:                                          27:03                     The reason why they want those parking garages because that’s money to the Illitch’s.

Jerry:                                     27:07                     Correct, Yeah.

DJ:                                          27:07                     Straight money doesn’t go to Detroit…

Jerry:                                     27:08                     Fans come down and park. Yeah.

DJ:                                          27:09                     And it goes straight to them and there is the problem. They can take that money, no problem. They could fulfill that part of the obligation, but when it comes to building the office spaces and residential and making it just a better area, oh well we’ll get to that is what we hear.

Jerry:                                     27:24                     I guess another point of the story is, uh, the images are giving capitalist or really bad rep or bad name because this is not how capitalists works. And yet they will call it capitalism. And that’s not the case.

DJ:                                          27:35                     Well, it’s not capitalism, it’s crony capitalism.

Jerry:                                     27:38                     That, and that’s to make every, just explain a little bit of another area. Go ahead.

DJ:                                          27:42                     Well, a capitalist does not work with a government, a true capitalist, uh, uh, a capitalist is an individualists who does it on their own. They don’t go to this tax payers because you got the taxpayers, that’s a form of socialism. That’s not capitalism.

Jerry:                                     27:56                     I’ll give you another example where it was accepted every day. And I don’t think the people understand it or realize what they’re doing, that they’re paying money out of their paychecks every single week or two weeks. It’s called the Medicare tax. And this Medicare tax pays for nursing homes. It is crony capitalism to the core. These owners of these nursing homes, the physical therapy, the rate they charge Medicare. And just for an example, a room, a room, a shared room, is $350 to $400 a day. Now the only reason they’re getting this money is because Medicare is paying for it. That’s the government. And we out of our check, is the Medicare tax, are given the government this money to pay these capitalists, it’s not capitalism.

DJ:                                          28:41                     So don’t call them that then. Stop calling them capitalists, they are not capitalist.

Jerry:                                     28:43                     They’re giving the industry to where other people like Illitch’s are seeing this and they think it’s capitalism. It’s crony capitalists. You’re correct. They’re giving them a bad name and which now the socialists out that are seizing it. Cause see how bad they are, the greed and so forth and making us or capitalism look bad.

DJ:                                          29:01                     Our first episode was about pragmatism

Jerry:                                     29:03                     and that’s what this is.

DJ:                                          29:04                     That’s what this is the end justifies the means. And the end is we want that arena. That’s all that matters to us. So we’ll do any shady deal to get that arena.

Jerry:                                     29:14                     And I think you were clear in that episode that the Wings, the Ilitch’s have a motto of whatever it takes,

DJ:                                          29:21                     just like they did when they bought the Stanley Cup in 2002. Whatever it take.

Jerry:                                     29:25                     I think this is another extension of whatever it takes, whatever it took to get that, stadium up to what we can get our, our revenue, our parking lots. And at the same time, 100% of the concessions, parking, merchandise, ticket sales, that’s a of money that they get to keep for themselves. So I think you were right there. They just said, hey, whatever it takes to make this happen and we’ll suffer the consequences. And that is refusing to talk to Crains and HBO because it’s going to come to light. And I don’t think this is going to go away anytime soon.

DJ:                                          29:56                     It shouldn’t. But to put a little bow on this to end it, this is why pragmatism is so prevalent in our society. No one knows what it is. And when they, when they act, they all cause they did it. Oh I can do it. And that justifies me doing it. Just someone else does it. Th there was no excuse for that. No excuse.

Jerry:                                     30:14                     I agree. Before we go, anyone’s got feedback, please give us your feedback. Tell us, do you agree with the Ilitch’s? Do you disagree? Uh, where is your standing? Uh, give us a topic that you’d like to see us discuss within sports ethics and we’ll be happy to bring that to light.

DJ:                                          30:31                     You can tell us that or give that feedback at our website at Also, our email is GrandDesignsPodcast@Yahoo. Once again, you can subscribe at Itunes, you can subscribe and watch, listen on Youtube as well as Facebook and follow us, Instagram is @GrandDesignsPodcast and follow us on Twitter @GrandDesignsPod. This is the Grand Designs Podcast. Who are you listening to?

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