Foley & Lardner LLP congratulates the Detroit Police Athletic League (Detroit PAL) on the redevelopment and grand opening of its headquarters and youth sports programming facility at the former site of Tiger Stadium. The new facility, which opens on March 24, 2018, will include a new minor league stadium with 2,000 seats, a playing field and room for food vendors. It will also serve as an event space, in addition to being available for community rentals.
Foley has advised Detroit PAL since the redevelopment project’s inception five years ago, principally on a pro bono basis involving many hundreds of hours of legal work. The firm led negotiations with the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation to secure the rights to the land from the City of Detroit, and worked to pursue new markets tax credits and bridge loans from Bank of America and Fifth Third Bank, respectively, to help finance the construction as generous community pledges are being received. Foley also advised Detroit PAL with respect to vendor contracts. The firm provided a total of 275 pro bono hours to Detroit PAL in 2017 alone in connection with the new stadium and headquarters.
“PAL is an incredible organization, and we were happy to help them navigate the various legal, regulatory and financial nuances needed to redevelop the Tiger Stadium site,” said firm partner Steven H. Hilfinger, one of the Foley attorneys who helped on the project. “This would be an exciting project for any firm to work on, but as a firm that has been in downtown Detroit since the founding of our office nearly 20 years ago, it’s especially fulfilling to see this one come together.”
The original Detroit Tiger stadium, located in the historic Corktown neighborhood, was demolished in 1999. The rebuilding of the neighborhood has accelerated in recent years, with the stadium’s reconstruction in the heart of Corktown helping to spur that momentum.
“As we started thinking about this redevelopment, it just made sense to bring Foley in since we’ve been partners for so long,” said Tim Richey, Chief Executive Officer of Detroit PAL. “There continues to be a gap in resources to fund and activate youth sports programming, which is why PAL is so critical to Detroit's landscape. We’ve seen these kids grow through our programs, including the 14,000 girls and boys who participated in PAL programming activities last year. Thanks to partners like Foley, we are thrilled that they’ll have the opportunity to play at a historic location in the city that remains so important to the community.”
Detroit PAL was created in partnership with the Detroit Police Department 1969 as a non-profit organization to help build character in the city’s youth through athletic, academic and leadership development programs.