Report: Detroit stadium effort moves forward with tentative agreement on second land deal

The effort to bring an MLS team to Detroit has been, like that of all other 11 bidders, dependent on getting a stadium deal done.

In the case of billionaire developer Dan Gilbert's Rock Ventures, that gets even more complicated as its 23,000-seat stadium stadium deal is contingent on doing a deal for the construction of a new criminal justice complex.

Gilbert just might get it done, putting Detroit in the running for one of the two expansion berths set to be awarded on Dec. 19 or 20.

A new wrinkle to the deal has emerged as Wayne County has switched plans for the location of the new jail site and the revised proposal involves it giving the former American Motors Corp. headquarters it owns via foreclosure to the City of Detroit for vacant land the City of Detroit owns behind the Detroit Department of Transportation bus terminal.


The Detroit Free Press reported that there is a tentative agreement between Wayne County and the City of Detroit to do the deal and allow Rock Ventures to begin work on the jail as soon as March 2018.

Rock Ventures has proposed to build a soccer stadium as part of a $1 billion development on the 15-acre site of an unfinished jail in the downtown area.

It would pay $140 million of the $520 million  cost of the new facility, the difference being what Wayne County would have to pay for a downtown jail.

The agreement still faces numerous hurdles, including an investigation of properties and legal and tax questions.

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