NOVEMBER 22: The Pistons have made it official, announcing (via Twitter) that they’re moving downtown to play in Little Caesars Arena next season.
“This is a historic day for our franchise, and for the City of Detroit,” Pistons owner Tom Gores said in a press release from the team. “We’re moving to a beautiful new arena that will provide a state-of-the-art fan experience, and we’re investing in the future of Detroit.
“I’ve always believed that a sports franchise is a community asset with the power to unite and inspire people,” Gores continued. “There’s a big responsibility that goes with that, but there’s also a big payoff. Not just for the city of Detroit, but for the whole region. 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.”
NOVEMBER 21: The Pistons will hold a news conference on Tuesday afternoon to announce their plan to move to downtown Detroit for the 2017/18 season, a source tells Ian Thibodeau of The Detroit News. Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press first reported earlier today that an announcement on the move could happen as early as Tuesday.
Currently, the Pistons play their home games at The Palace of Auburn Hills, in a suburb of Detroit. However, with the NHL’s Red Wings set to move into a new downtown home called Little Caesars Arena next year, the Pistons have long been rumored to be negotiating with Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch to join them in that move.
Pistons owner Tom Gores indicated earlier this month that he would have an update within “the next few weeks” on a possible move downtown.
According to Ellis (Twitter links), an agreement between the Pistons and Red Wings isn’t officially finalized, but there’s a “comprehensive memorandum of understanding” in place. It may still be a few weeks before the deal is formally completed, but most of the work is done and the team apparently feels confident enough about the final steps to make an announcement tomorrow, per Ellis, who adds that the Pistons’ move downtown will take place, “barring something totally crazy happening” (Twitter link).
The Pistons have played their home games in Auburn Hills since 1988, and haven’t played in downtown Detroit since 1978.