Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Any New Detroit Convention Center Should Be Privately Financed

Thomas Bray of the Detroit News gets it right in calling for any new convention center to be paid for by private funds.

In Let private sector finance convention center, he notes that oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is indicating that he will not back a new tax to pay for any convention center remnovation or for a new convention center which is being called for by the Auto show and other promoters.

Bray hits the nail on the head when he states:
Certainly the auto show is fun to have around, and it may even bolster Detroit's image with a few car nuts. Hundreds of journalists covering the auto industry feel obligated to journey to Detroit in the midst of winter to keep an eye on new car introductions. After all, Detroit is still a very important center of the automotive industry, if no longer its sole "capital."

But the auto show already is a lot bigger than it used to be. Yet there doesn't seem to have been any corresponding growth in tourism hereabouts, even with the addition of casinos. Nor has it done much to jump-start development within Detroit. The hard fact is that no amount of new car introductions is likely to overcome Detroit's worldwide image as a pretty sad city surrounded by some very pleasant if unexceptional suburbs.

The residents of Bray's very pleasant if unexceptional suburbs clearly do not want to finance another Detroit boondogle and patronage scheme, especially if they will have no voice in the proceedings other than to fork over the money.

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