The proposed Detroit MLS stadium.

A group of potential MLS owners for a Detroit based franchise have been working hard towards bringing a team to the Motor City. The group of possible owners had a study commissioned about the viability of a stadium in downtown Detroit, and the study ended up making a pretty obvious discovery (especially for a study commissioned by a group of possible MLS owners):

A soccer stadium in downtown Detroit would be better for the city than a jail at the same location.

In other news, the sun still rises in the East and sets in the West.

The stadium plan is currently led by two NBA owners in Dan Gilbert (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Tom Gores (Detroit Pistons). Their plan is for a $1.88 billion stadium in Detroit. However, in order for the stadium to be built, a $420 million jail and justice center must be built as well.

The proposed $420 million facility wouldn’t be built in the same place and instead at a different location. As of now, the location of the proposed MLS stadium is occupied by a half-finished jail.

Back in January, the Detroit Free Press said a ruling could come as soon as May. Since then Matt Cullen, who is the principal of Gilbert’s company Rock Ventures, has added it could be as late as June until a decision is made.

“We owe them some updated information, kind of in the May-June time frame. And I would expect we’ll have a lot of clarity for them by that time,” Cullen said. “They’ll want to know, at that time, what control we have over the site [for the new jail].”

The study that states the stadium would be better than the half-finished jail was released by Rock Ventures on Tuesday and conducted by the University of Michigan’s Center for Sport & Policy. It states the MLS stadium and “mixed-use development” would generate $2.39 billion and add 2,106 permanent jobs for the city.

On top of that, the study also stated the half-finished jail (if completed on that site) would only generate $352 million for the city. Additionally, the construction of the new stadium and jail facility would bring around $51.9 million in tax revenue to Detroit and the state of Michigan.

A big debate about sports stadiums that has emerged in recent years has revolved around public funding for stadiums. Well, the only public money Gilbert and Gores are asking Detroit and Michigan for is the $300 million that would have been spent to complete the half-finished jail. As of now, they aren’t asking for any additional taxpayer money.

There’s still going to be a debate about if this plan is worth it, if Gilbert’s group can get the site for the other jail, and if they’ll actually be able to build this stadium and land this MLS team. But yes, if all other things are equal, a stadium does sound like a nicer attraction than a jail.

[Sports Illustrated]

About David Lauterbach

David is a writer for The Comeback. He enjoyed two Men's Basketball Final Four trips for Syracuse before graduating in 2016. If The Office or Game of Thrones is on TV, David will be watching.