A move of the Detroit Pistons to the forthcoming Little Caesars Arena could take place, as the team is in serious discussions with the Red Wings.
Over the last few months, it has become apparent that the Pistons are looking to vacate The Palace of Auburn Hills and move to the new downtown Detroit venue. Negotiations have been taking place with the Illitch family, owners of the Red Wings, about how such a deal could be reached.
The Pistons and owner Tom Gores have made a few details clear. The franchise would like to be an equal partner in the arena, and not a tenant. Aside from that priority, there is also the issue of making sure that the design of Little Caesars Arena can be adjusted to accommodate basketball, and that the Pistons can find space for operations in downtown Detroit.
As part of the move, the Pistons would look to build a practice facility in downtown Detroit. While it is not finalized, representatives from both the Pistons and the Illitch family have been moving the negotiations forward. More from the Detroit Free Press:
At the most senior level, Gores and Chris Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, have directed their executive teams to work on a framework agreement that would permit the move, subject to approval by the NBA and city officials, the source said.
The two sides spent most of the summer working through details. The discussions have triggered speculation that an announcement could be imminent. But the person with knowledge of the negotiations cautioned that there is still a lot of work to do. A detailed agreement — if it can be reached — could be weeks away, the source said.
Cobo Arena was the last permanent home for the Pistons within the City of Detroit to host the Pistons, as the franchise moved to the Pontiac Silverdome in 1978. Aside from a brief stint at Joe Louis Arena in 1985, they remained in Pontiac until The Palace of Auburn Hills opened in 1988. The Palace of Auburn Hills is tied with Milwaukee’s Bradley Center as the fourth-oldest arena in the NBA.
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