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What Detroit Looked Like The Last Time All Its Major Sports Teams Played In The City

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What Detroit Looked Like The Last Time All Its Major Sports Teams Played In The City

The Detroit Pistons are moving to Detroit for the 2017–2018 season, according to multiple local media reports. It will be the first full season since 1977 that the three-time NBA champions will play within city limits.

The Pistons moved out to the Pontiac Silverdome in 1978; before, then-owner Bill Davidson paid for and built their own arena ("The Palace of Auburn Hills") in 1988. Auburn Hills is about 35 miles north of the city.

Should all go according to plan, 2017 will be the first time since 1974 that all four major professional sports teams will play in Detroit. Let's take a look at what those franchises, and the city itself, looked like 42 years ago...

The City

  • Detroit's population was about 1.5 million, about 54 percent of whom were white. The city's population as of the 2010 census was about 713,000, 83 percent of whom were black.
  • Coleman Young took over as mayor on January 1, 1974. He was the city's first black mayor and would hold that position for the next 20 years. Current mayor, Mike Duggan, who took over in 2014, is the city's first white mayor since Young's predecessor, Roman Gribbs.
  • Homicides were at an all-time high, still in the wake of the 1967 riots. There were 714 documented homicides in the city in 1974. In 2015, there were 298, still one of the worst murder rates in the country.
  • The skyline was without the Renaissance Center, which had just begun construction a year earlier and ultimately opened in 1977. The building is now the headquarters of General Motors Company (NYSE: GM).

The Sports

  • The Pistons were a middling NBA team playing at the iconic Cobo Center. They would have several rough years before Chuck Daly and Isaiah Thomas turned things around in the early 1980s.
  • The Detroit Lions played their final season at Tiger Stadium before moving to the Silverdome, which they would occupy until 2001 before moving back downtown to Ford Field. The team went 7–7 and was the last time "Monday Night Football" came to Detroit until 2011.
  • Hall of Fame outfielder Al Kaline played his final of 22 seasons for the Detroit Tigers. The team finished 72-90, finishing in last place.
  • The Detroit Red Wings, coached by then-general manager and Hall of Fame player Alex Delvecchio, went 23–45–12 in the regular season during a down period for the franchise.

The Music

  • The Motown sound was beginning to wind down in popularity, although Stevie Wonder was dominating the industry.
  • Ted Nugent was staking his claim as one of the best guitarists in rock music.
  • Bob Seger formed the Silver Bullet Band and was a year away from becoming a national star.
 

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Posted-In: Coleman Young Detroit Detroit Lions Detroit Pistons Detroit Red WingsEducation Sports General Best of Benzinga

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