The Detroit Pistons are leaving the Palace of Auburn Hills and moving to downtown Detroit.
The move, finally made official Tuesday at Cass Tech High School, was unsurprising. More interesting to me, however, was Detroit’s “10-point community benefit plan.”
Among the items are a commitment to build 60 basketball courts in Detroit, to mentoring commitments and a promise to employ at least 51 percent of Detroit residents on the construction of a future Pistons practice facility.
The commitments are appreciated, especially in light of the fact that the Pistons are leaving a beautiful arena that was completely privately financed, which is as rare as a unicorn in professional sports.
Below are the 10 commitments the Pistons organization is making to the city of Detroit. I list them not only so you can admire the value the organization sees in the city, but also to keep a billion-dollar franchise accountable.
Community Benefits for City of Detroit
The agreement with the city also includes a 10-point community benefits plan that will create jobs and bring millions of dollars of investment into Detroit neighborhoods.
“I’ve always said that the Pistons are a community asset,” Mr. Gores said. “My responsibility as owner is to make sure we are not only successful on the court, but off it as well. These initiatives will help us do that.”
From the Detroit Pistons official release:
Under the plan, the Pistons organization agrees to:
- Invest $2,500,000 over six years in the construction, renovation and refurbishment of more than 60 basketball courts in parks throughout the City of Detroit in partnership with the City of Detroit’s Recreation department.
- Employment of at least 51% Detroit residents on the construction of the Practice Facility.
- Awarding of at least 30% of the value of all construction contracts related to the Practice Facility to Detroit-based companies.
- Use commercially reasonable efforts to maximize post-construction employment opportunities with PS&E for City Residents.
- Support workforce development initiatives for City Residents by donating $100,000 to Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation.
- Partner with the Mayor’s Office to provide mentorship opportunities for young City Residents.
- Participate in the Grow Detroit’s Young Talent summer jobs program.
- Host free youth basketball camps, clinics, and other events for City Residents to promote youth basketball and youth enrichment programs in the City.
- Provide 20,000 free tickets per regular season to Detroit youth and residents to attend NBA basketball games, in support of and in connection with community educational programs and initiatives.
- Appoint and maintain a liaison to meet, communicate, and engage regularly with the existing Little Caesars Arena Neighborhood Advisory Committee or, with respect to the practice facility, if necessary any other committee created by the City for purposes of engaging local residents, consistent with the City of Detroit’s community benefits ordinance.
Support for the neighborhood initiative and jobs program will build on the significant philanthropic investments Mr. Gores, Palace Sports & Entertainment and the Pistons Foundation have already made in Detroit through partnerships with organizations like GROW Detroit’s Young Talent, the Detroit Police Athletic League, the S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center at Lipke Park, City Year Detroit, Dave Bing’s BINGO Mentoring Program, the Jalen Rose Youth Leadership Academy and Forgotten Harvest.