Pistons To Move Downtown

Tom Gores, owner of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, Ilitch Holdings CEO Christopher Ilitch and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced Nov. 22 an agreement for the basketball team to move to the new downtown Little Caesars Arena.  

The NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, who are owned by Mike and Marian Ilitch, will leave  to move to the new facility, set to open next fall.

“This is a historic day for our franchise, and for the City of Detroit,” Gores told the Detroit Free Press.Detroit is rising, reinventing itself. The Pistons are doing the same. We’re in this together, and we couldn’t be more excited about that.” The Pistons have played in Auburn Hills since 1988. Before that, the team played at the Pontiac Silverdome for a decade and called Cobo Arena home from 1961-78. The Palace was built with private funds by William Davidson, who owned the Pistons from 1974 until his death in 2009.

The Ilitches, who own Olympia Entertainment, and Gores, who owns Palace Sports & Entertainment, also agreed to create a joint venture to manage Little Caesars Arena,  and , according to the Press.

“We have a deal, but these sorts of intricacies and how it works will be revealed in the weeks ahead,” PS&E vice chairman Arn Tellem said. The Pistons’ move downtown is estimated to add another public investment of $34.5 million to the price of Little Caesars Arena. Half of that amount will be paid for by refinancing existing Downtown Development Authority bonds at a lower interest rate. The rest of the city’s part will be covered by extending the term of these bonds another three years, Duggan told the Press.