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The Boston Globe


On Second Thought

Detroit’s fancy stadiums mask city’s pain

DETROIT — Sitting inside a packed Comerica Park, the comfy home of the Tigers where the Red Sox played three times last week, one could be blissfully oblivious to Detroit’s financial plight. The city filed for bankruptcy in July, awash in upward of $20 billion in debt, with no reasonable means to tidy up the books any time soon. It stands as the largest municipal Chapter 9 filing in United States history.

Yet, amid the crushing debt and urban blight of beaten down Motown, the Tigers moved into their sprightly new digs in 2000. It’s a smart, beautiful ballyard, built at a cost of $300 million. Right next door stands the domed Ford Field, the monolithic domicile of the NFL Lions, which opened two years later at a cost of $430 million. The NHL Red Wings recently announced plans to build a new arena, replacing their beloved but faded “Joe’’ as part of a larger development in the same revitalized neighborhood. Projected cost: $650 million.

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