Tom Gores expects good news on soccer front soon

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — First basketball, next soccer?

Pistons owner Tom Gores is a busy man these days, having announced Tuesday his basketball team's move from Auburn Hills to the City of Detroit starting next season.

Gores also expects to learn soon whether his bid to get a Major League Soccer franchise in Detroit gets the green light.

Arn Tellem, Gores' right-hand man and point person when it came to Pistons-Detroit negotiations, told reporters Tuesday that an official word is expected from MLS sometime in the coming days, or by mid-December.

"That's going to pick up in '17," Tellem said. "We're confident we'll be one of the four teams that get a franchise."

Gores and his fellow NBA owner and Detroit booster, Dan Gilbert, announced earlier this year plans to bring an MLS team to town.

MLS plans to expand to 28 teams in the near future, with four spots still up for grabs — and Detroit, St. Louis, Sacramento, San Diego and Cincinnati are in serious contention, among others.

Gores and Gilbert targeted the stalled Detroit city jail site as a possible home for a new soccer stadium.

The Gores-Gilbert partnership is one of two high-profile Gores tandems. On Tuesday, he partnered with the Ilitches to become co-tenants of Little Caesars Arena, which opens next fall.

The collaboration is a big deal, Tellem said, and should continue to be a part of Detroit's comeback story.

"Absolutely," he said. "That's what you want to happen, you want to make happen. There's a lot of opportunities. We've only begun to scratch the surface."