25 November, 2016
Pistons' owner Tom Gores, Chris Illitch of Olympia Entertainment, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and National Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver met in Midtown Detroit at Cass Tech High School to present their memo of understanding to the Detroit Downtown Development Authority to allow the Pistons to move into the under-construction Little Caesars Arena.
Mike Duggan, Chris Ilitch, Tom Gores at press conference.
According to unnamed sources with knowledge of the negotiation the Detroit Pistons have reached an agreement in principle with the city of Detroit and Olympia Entertainment to bring the team back to downtown Detroit for the first time since 1978.
The Pistons, who are now playing their 29th and final season at The Palace of Auburn Hills, which is located around 30 miles from downtown Detroit, are due to present the agreement to the NBA's board of governors next spring. They are likely to play at Little Caesars Arena, which is going to be the home of the NHL's Detroit Red Wings, who are in their final season playing at Joe Louis Arena.
Both sides are (of course) seeing this as a win for both Detroit and Auburn Hills.
It means the Pistons and the Detroit Red Wings will be playing under one roof, just blocks from the Detroit Tigers' Comerica Park, and Ford Field, home to the Detroit Lions.
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Tellem also didn't have exact details of how the suite sales would work - whether there'd be separate owners for the same suites for Red Wings and Pistons games, or whether owners will get access for both teams' games. "Now they're swooping in on school taxes to help pay for a hockey arena in Detroit".
"That is a valuable piece of property and we think there is a lot of opportunity to do some exciting things up there that would be very good for Oakland County", he said. Over the past year, "there's been a courtship" between the Pistons' parent company, Gore's Platinum Equity LLC, and the Ilitch family, The Detroit News reported.
The Pistons are promising to meet with neighborhood advisory groups to accommodate any concerns with a move downtown.
It is possible the DDA will issue taxable bonds of up to $55 million for a Pistons practice facility. The impact on the community is huge, and thats what sports teams do, Gores said in his last public comments.
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The arena is the centerpiece of a $1.2 billion (1.13 billion euros) sports and entertainment development.