The Detroit Pistons are officially moving to downtown Detroit after the last procedural hurdle was cleared with a unanimous vote of approval from the NBA Board of Governors.
The team will be playing in downtown Detroit for the first time in about 40 years. The team spent nearly 30 years calling the Palace of Auburn Hills its home. It was a beautiful stadium when it opened in 1988 and remained a top notch arena in 2017. Pistons owner Tom Gores spent millions of dollars renovating the public and private spaces within the Palace and spent millions on a state-of-the-art scoreboard.
The fans, however, mostly stayed away. After years near the top of the attendance leaders during the Going to Work era, Pistons fans have not been willing to come to see the lean years since 2009, including their 44-win campaign in 2015-16.
Gores hired Arn Tellem to help grease the wheels toward a possible move downtown and eventually reached an agreement with the Illitch family on co-occupancy of the under construction Little Caesars Arena. Repreesntatives of Gores’ and Illitch’s respective organizations announced an agreement last November, but it has taken until now to get the final step of the approval completed.