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DETROIT — The Detroit City Council on Tuesday approved transferring vacant city-owned parcels for a new hockey arena and a 45-block entertainment complex just north of downtown.
Once complete, the 18,000-seat arena will become home to the Detroit Red Wings, who will move out of aging Joe Louis Arena.
The transfer is the third part of council action on the $650 million project. In December, the board approved financing for the project and broadened the boundaries of the city's Downtown Development Authority.
The authority would own the arena and event center. Olympia Development would have exclusive rights to use, manage and operate it, and hold naming rights.
The Ilitch family owns Olympia Development and the Red Wings.
The council approved the measure 6-3 on Tuesday. City Council President Brenda Jones and members James Tate and Raquel Castaneda Lopez voted no.
"I am wholeheartedly behind the development," said Tate, who added that he opposed the proposal because it is "extremely important" to have a more defined commitment to employ Detroit residents in the project.
Unlike an earlier proposal, the new contract includes a guarantee for security and policing in and near the stadium and a neighborhood advisory council.
Councilman Saunteel Jenkins said the deal isn't perfect but is an improvement over the previous proposal.
"It's much better than what we had originally and certainly better than what sits in that space right now, which is nothing," Jenkins said.
Before the vote, members of the public addressed the council.
"I believe this project has a wonderful chance for success that will benefit the city and the region as a whole," said Joel Landy, a developer who owns 50 residential and commercial properties north of Interstate 75.
ALLEN DIES: Keith Allen, the first coach of the Philadelphia Flyers who became the general manager who built the organization's Stanley Cup championship teams of 1974 and 1975, died Tuesday. He was 90.
Allen joined the Flyers in 1966, before the franchise's inaugural season. He was behind the bench for its inception in 1967 and won the West Division title that season. He coached the team through the 1969-70 season.
Allen became the general manager of the Flyers on Dec. 22, 1969, and held that position until May 27, 1983. During his tenure as GM, the Flyers won two Stanley Cups (1973-74 and 1974-75) and reached the NHL final four times.
The team announced his death in a release.