On Wednesday, university board of governors will consider a proposed Wayne State Arena that could become home to a Detroit Pistons‘ NBA Gatorade League team.
Wayne State University is floating a roughly $25 million arena project, with the facility to be built in Detroit at the corner of Warren and Trumbull–about two miles from the Pistons’ Little Caesars Arena. The venue could open by 2021 and would be financed and owned by Wayne State, which would place its men’s and women’s basketball programs in the facility.
The Pistons could also be involved in the project, with the organization’s G League team potentially playing games at the arena. Currently the Pistons are affiliated with, but do not own, the G League’s Grand Rapids Drive. It is unclear at this time whether the Drive would relocate to the Wayne State arena, or if the Pistons would seek a G League expansion team.
More information about the proposal could surface Wednesday afternoon, when the Wayne State Board of Governors is slated to consider a proposal to approve construction on the venue. More from The Detroit News:
The Pistons have an agreement with the Drive through 2020-21, but the source indicated that if Wayne State’s Board of Governors approves the construction proposal, the Pistons could move their G-League team — whether it’s the Drive or an expansion team — to Midtown Detroit in time for the 2021-22 season.
Wayne State officials did not comment on the proposal.
Wayne State is paying for the construction and would own the facility, but according to the source, the Pistons would lease the facility for the G-League team’s home games in the league’s 50-game schedule.
The Drive have been the Pistons’ affiliate for five years. Any change in the Pistons’ G-League affiliation or that team’s location would require approval from the NBA.
Should this plan move forward, it would mark another step by the Pistons to concentrate their operations within Detroit. The NBA team shifted from their long-time suburban arena–The Palace of Auburn Hills–to the then brand-new Little Caesars Arena in 2017, opening the facility with the NHL’s Red Wings. The organization will also soon finish construction on a new practice facility in Midtown Detroit.