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Bad Boys Are Back In Town: Detroit Pistons Return Downtown After Four Decades In The Suburbs

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Bad Boys Are Back In Town: Detroit Pistons Return Downtown After Four Decades In The Suburbs

The Bad Boys are back in town.

Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores, Detroit Red Wings and Little Caesar’s owner Mike Ilitch and Detroit mayor Mike Duggan formally announced that the Pistons will begin playing in downtown Detroit for the 2017-2018 season in a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

“We want to be all in on Detroit,” said one Pistons executive quoted by the Detroit Free Press.

Come Together

The move, which had been all-but-confirmed before Tuesday’s presser, means that all four of Detroit’s professional sports teams will play within the city limits for the first time since the 1970s.

The Pistons will share a roof with the Red Wings at Little Caesar’s Arena. The new venue is under construction a few blocks away from where the Tigers and Lions play at Comerica Park and Ford Field.

Adjustments to the new arena to accommodate the Pistons are expected to cost upwards of $35 million, according to the Free Press.

The move follows the Pistons’ recruitment of NBA superstar agent Arn Tellem. Tellem’s role as vice-chairman of Palace Sports and Entertainment includes a greater commitment to community outreach. Moving the team from the distant suburb of Auburn Hills to downtown Detroit seems to fit well with that responsibility.

The Downtown Core

Centralizing the city's sports teams is part of a larger effort by a pair of Detroit billionaires, Ilitch and Quicken Loans chairman and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, to energize a sports-and-retail-focused downtown core in Detroit.

“The Detroit Pistons moving back to downtown Detroit is outstanding news,” Gilbert said in a statement to Benzinga. “The entire city of Detroit and region will now benefit from one of the most electric and exciting entertainment districts in the world. Congratulations to everyone who worked long and hard to make this happen.”

Gilbert also noted that with the move, every NBA team will be located in or near the urban core of the cities they represent.

In other Detroit sports-related news, Under Armour Inc (NYSE: UA) CEO Kevin Plank recently announced his company would open a retail store in the city with a 17,000 square foot location. Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE) recently opened a community store on downtown Detroit.

Gilbert and Gores have also been in talks to bring a Major League Soccer team to Detroit at the site of a defunct construction site for a county jail.

Image: GabboT, Flickr

Posted-In: Arn Tellem Dan Gilbert Detroit Detroit PistonsNews Sports Events General Best of Benzinga

 

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