groundbreakingLocal and state dignitaries were in attendance Thursday afternoon for the ceremonial groundbreaking of the new Detroit Entertainment District, which will include new 20,000-seat hockey arena and 45-block entertainment complex in Detroit.

The program included Chris Ilitch, Olympia Entertainment CEO who shared the vision of the new entertainment venue along with Gov. Rick Snyder, Mayor Mike Duggan, Detroit City Council President Pro-Tem George Cushingberry who spoke on the city and state’s behalf.

A $450 million bond financing plan was approved last week for the arena and entertainment district.

It is expected to create 8,300 construction and construction-related jobs and 1,100 permanent jobs. Duggan said Detroit residents will fill at least 51 percent of the construction jobs related to the project.

“We are going to make sure the opportunities for Detroiters from this project last long after the construction is over,” said Duggan.

The company is owned by Red Wings’ owners Mike and Marian Ilitch and will include new residential, retail and commercial development, is scheduled to be completed by 2017.

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