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Pistons to officially announce move to downtown Detroit

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The Pistons will hold a press conference on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

City Of Detroit To Exit Bankruptcy Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons will be playing basketball in downtown Detroit again for the first time in almost 40 years. According to multiple reports, including The Detroit News, an announcement will be made on Tuesday, Nov. 22 that the Pistons will move in with the Detroit Red Wings at the new Little Caesars Arena in The District Detroit starting next season.

Of course, this was indeed the worst kept secret in Detroit sports for years, dating back to the time when it was rumored that Mike Ilitch wanted to buy the team and move them to Detroit himself. Then Tom Gores emerged as the front-runner and bought the team, never denying his own interest in moving the team—rumors really heated up a couple months ago when Gores told the media at media day and again at The Palace’s final home opener that a deal was “getting close.”

Fast forward a couple months and here we are. The Pistons PR sent out a media advisory on Monday afternoon that there will be a press conference at Cass Tech High School on Tuesday, Nov. 22 where Tom Gores, Christopher Ilitch, President and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, and Mike Duggan, Mayor of Detroit, will be on hand. You don’t announce a press conference to say a deal will not be reached.

That said, announcements of the forthcoming announcement have been worded carefully to avoid saying a deal is officially in place. Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press tweeted that there’s a comprehensive memorandum of understanding and a legally binding deal is still weeks away, but obviously there’s enough of a mutual understanding for there to be a formal announcement.

Presumably, the exact details of how construction of the already-near-complete arena will be modified to house the Pistons are at the forefront of what still need to be hashed out. Gores and company are also trying to figure out exactly where they will build a new practice facility in the same area and where they will have their downtown executive offices.

This is exciting news for the rebirth of Detroit, which will now have all four of its major sports franchises within its city limits -- and there have been rumors of Gores teaming up with Dan Gilbert to bring the city an MLS team too.

As for the future of The Palace, home of the franchise’s only three championship banners, well, that remains to be seen. The venue is still in good shape and houses concerts and other events throughout the year, but upkeep costs will only continue to rise and there’s not much of anything to do around the arena before and after events. The Palace loses its luster without the Pistons and it is believed that the new arena in Detroit will take a lot of the offseason action away from The Palace. Sadly, the future of The Palace seems relatively bleak.

We’ll have more on Tuesday after the announcement.

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