DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings will play in a new arena some season in the future.
It's not if, but when and yet Chris Ilitch doesn't know or want to say much about it.
"Everybody is working hard and there's positive progress," the president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings told the Associated Press after Wednesday's Detroit Economic Club meeting.
What's next in the process?
"It's tough to say," he said. "I'd prefer not to make any predictions and just keep working away and continue to do our due diligence and see what we can put together."
Joe Louis Arena, which is among the oldest NHL facilities, opened in 1979.
Chris Ilitch leads a company owned by his parents -- Mike and Marian -- that includes the Red Wings, Detroit Tigers and had $4.2 billion in revenue in 2010.
Four months ago, Michigan lawmakers approved a measure allowing tax dollars collected by the Downtown Development Authority to be used for a $650 million multi-use development that will include a facility for the Red Wings. The DDA has been allowed for nearly two decades to pay down Detroit's general obligation bonds with about $12.8 million a year that otherwise would have gone to education
Supporters of the bill claimed it will create upward of 8,300 new construction jobs and pump $1 billion into Michigan's economy. Opponents of it said funding a private stadium with taxpayer dollars shouldn't be a priority, especially when that money was otherwise going to the School Aid Fund.