Talks have begun to increase about moving the Detroit Pistons back downtown since Tom Gores became owner, and the buzz is louder than ever.
The Detroit Pistons are thinking about constructing a new practice facility in downtown Detroit just north of the new Little Caesars Arena at Woodward and I-75.
"Both sides have acknowledged that they’re in at least preliminary talks to figure out how the Pistons could relocate from the Palace of Auburn Hills, their suburban Oakland County home since 1988."
Last summer, Pistons’ owner Tom Gores hired one of the best agents in the business, Arn Tellem, as vice chairman of Palace Sports and Entertainment.
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Tellem’s role places him as the point man for the Pistons’ community outreach programs.
That role has placed him at the forefront of discussions with the Ilitch family–who is currently building Little Caesars Arena–on the topic of moving the team back downtown.
Tellem has found fulfillment in his new role. In fact, according to Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press, his connection here in Detroit has been deeper than his decades-long tenure in Los Angeles.
"One year after accepting Pistons owner Tom Gores’ offer to become vice-chairman of Palace Sports & Entertainment, Tellem says he has never been happier. He said he’s more connected to the greater Detroit community in his first 12 months here than he was in the more than 30 years he lived in Los Angeles."
For his part, Tom Gores has mixed feelings on the move. After all the Palace of Auburn Hills was built and rennovated using private funds and is essentially state-of-the-art thanks to recent rennovations. After all, if it isn’t broke, does it really need to be fixed?
Ultimately, Gores and PS&E’s goal is to provide fans with the best possible product, and it may be decided that the best way to do that is to move the Pistons back dowtown.
"“I think you’ve just got to respect the home you’re in,” Gores said last October. “Whatever home you’re living in, you should make it the best possible. I’ve always believed that, and so I don’t rule out downtown, but right now, this is our home. … We want to do everything 100 percent. Whatever the future holds, we’ll see what happens, but the fact is, tonight there are kids and parents and fans and everybody else here, and we should provide the best possible experience.”"
There are obvious benefits and drawbacks to both keeping the team in Auburn Hills and moving the team back inside the city, so let’s watch these developments closely as they unfold.