I know enough about the Detroit area that you can go to my dads hometown of Dearborn Heights and hear the Muslim Call to Prayer over the Mosque loudspeakers.
The Tigers have the lowest ticket price of any MLB team. The Lions ticket prices are very high. Parking can be as much as $50 or as low as $15 if you don't minds walking. The Detroit fan base for sports is at least rabid. I am not surprised that they sell out. The illitch's that own the Tigers and the Redwings are huge supporters of the city and I could not see a situation in which they would leave. They have been and from what I can tell are investing more and more in the city.
The financial troubles in Detroit has as much to do with an eroding tax base from the near continuous decline in population since the 1950's. The city based on its geography (It is in the terms of square miles, one of the largest cities in the country) has infrastructure problems. They are unable to right size their services, because of the areas that need to be covered as far as police, firefighters etc. etc. are concerned. With decline of manufacturing Detroit was very hard hit. The jobs that remain are often taken up by people living outside of the city. people who live outside of the city, but work in the city are supposed to pay a tax. It is notoriously ignored. A recent request from Detroit Financial Manager Kevin Orr to have the state help collect the taxes, was rejected by Gov. Rick Snyder. The surrounding suburbs refuse to help the city with their costs, even though they gain a lot of benefit from the city. This along with the legacy pensions costs in a decreasing population has lead to an unstable financial model that was destined to fail at some point.
I do not want to ignore corruption either. Detroit (and I would assume Michigan) has some of the least transparent laws in regards to government. This has allowed for some serious abuses in the system. I would say the reasons I listed above are more the cause for Detroit's problems than anything else though.
State of the Art sports stadiums were built and the teams have moved back into Detroit in the past few years. This has helped support surrounding businesses who prosper from the suburbs spending money at their establishments. The core root of the problem has been the corrupt govt and city leaders who were involved in stealing millions of dollars and taking kickbacks to pad their pockets. This had been going on for years at the expense of the citizens. The rich suburbs you speak of are few, and I would imagine the same near any metro area across the United States, most here are middle class. Detroit is a beautiful gem, with the right management, job creation, youth intervention, blight renovation, it can be turned around one day and prosper once again. Detroit born and proud to be a part of this great city.
Read a book by Charlie Leduff called Detriot: An American Autopsy last week. Great read for those who want an insite of how it came to be a $hithole.
It was good news to hear of the new "clean-up" program in the city. All the abandoned buildings no longer usable are being completely torn down and removed. That's bound to paint a better picture of the city, and I suspect it will get some investors more interested in building some new facilities that should attract new inhabitants. I wish them the best.
No offense taken :p GO TIGERS!
When Detroit declared bankruptcy it was on 18.5 billion dollars. How much of that can be from corruption? Some for sure, but a majority of it I couldn't get my mind around. We do know also that there pension fund was underfunded for years and that was before the 2008 crash.