The Detroit Pistons are closing in on a move to downtown Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena, according to owner Tom Gores.
In recent months, it has become increasingly evident that the Pistons are interested in moving to Little Caesars Arena, which is set to open for the Detroit Red Wings next fall. Arranging a move from The Palace of Auburn Hills, however, has required a good deal of negotiation between the Pistons and the Illitch family, which owns the Red Wings.
Reports have indicated that the Pistons want to be an equal partner in an arena, and that a move could include additional projects such as team offices and a practice facility. Furthermore, there could be some design changes to Little Caesars Arena to ensure that it can adequately accommodate both the NBA and NHL.
The terms of the deal are not finalized, but recent indications point to the Pistons being closer to striking an agreement. On Friday, Gores went as far as to suggest that this season could be the team’s last at The Palace of Auburn Hills. More from The News & Observer:
The Palace was built with private funds by William Davidson, who owned the Pistons from 1974 until his death in 2009. The increasingly likely move next season meant Friday’s game against Orlando may have been the final home opener at the suburban arena.
“We’re serious about making this move, and I think we should take it in. I think we should enjoy it, The Palace,” said Gores, who bought the team from Davidson’s wife Karen in 2011. “Really has been a historic arena, credit to Mr. Davidson.”
Gores said the Pistons have not thought about building their own facility to play in downtown. The Red Wings, who are owned by Mike and Marian Ilitch, are in their final season at Joe Louis Arena before moving to Little Caesars Arena.
If the Pistons do indeed move, Gores and Auburn Hills will have to line up the future of The Palace. According to Crain’s Detroit Business, the arena–which opened in 1988–could be demolished to make way for commercial development. Gores purchased the Palace and the Pistons in 2011.
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