Pistons highlights: Detroit All-Star Game possible
The Pistons, in a joint press conference Tuesday with Ilitch Holdings, have officially announced their return to downtown Detroit. The Pistons’ home will be Little Caesars Arena, which they will share with the Detroit Red Wings.
Notes from Pistons press conference:
- NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is in attendance.
- Cleveland Cavaliers owner, CEO of Quicken Loans and Detroit renaissance man Dan Gilbert tweeted this: The Detroit Pistons moving back to downtown Detroit is outstanding news. All 30 NBA teams will now be located in or nearby the urban cores of the cities they represent. This move makes sense for everyone involved: the Illitches, Tom Gores, and most important of all, the entire city of Detroit and entertainment districts in the world. Congratulations to everyone who worked long and hard to make this happen.
- The four to come out to make the announcement are Mayor of Detroit Mike Duggan, Christopher Ilitch, Tom Gores and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
- Gores speaks first, says this is a groundbreaking day for Detroit.
- Gores says Mike Illitch's skills, vision and guts to stick with Detroit is admirable. He says he is very proud of the Illitch family for dedicating itself to the city of Detroit.
- Gores commends Duggan on his tireless efforts to deal with people who want to make the city a better place.
- Gores says the memories of The Palace aren't going anywhere, but the time has come to do what makes sense for the city of Detroit
- Gores says he's blown away by how much was put into the new arena and how great of an entertainment venue it can really be. "Going forward, I'm so excited. I know it took us a while to get here, but we have a great man in charge in Stan Van Gundy."
- Christopher Ilitch says that Gores is making a bold move, but it's a move that will have a positive affect throughout the entire community. He says it will effect the city "In remarkable ways we can't even yet see..."
- Ilitch says that there would be no announcement to make today if it weren't for the efforts of Mayor Duggan and the city council.
- Ilitch says construction is going well and is on schedule. Says project on the entire District is "progressing beyond our expectations."
- Duggan says watching the city's decline was difficult, but most painful personal experiences were watching Lions, Pistons leave town. He says it didn't seem right they called themselves the "Detroit" Lions.
- Duggan says the deal is just preliminary until the first quarter next year, but the concept is something they wanted to share with the community.
- Duggan says funds for the Pistons practice facility are not coming out of the city's general fund, but they are funds that must be used for economic development.
- NBA Commissioner Adam Silver that he was surprised at how fast this deal came together, but he thinks that Detroit and the Pistons are in great hands.
- Gores tells media that he is humbled by this opportunity. "As much as we want to win, we want to impact the community. I don't want to win at all costs. If we win, but we aren't good to the community, what does it mean?"
- On The Palace: Nothing definitive. It will be taken care of, respected. There's development opportunities, but nothing no specific plans as of now.
- Gores says there will be special things done over the season to relish the good times had by the Pistons' at The Palace.
- Practice facility is a work in progress, according to Gores.
- Silver says that this move greatly enhances Detroit's chance to host an All-Star game. "When you buildings come, they deserve to get an All-Star game."
Here are notes from that meeting Detroit Downtown Development meeting:
- DDA will not approve anything binding today.
- Pistons will relocate operations and practice facility to Detroit sometime in 2018.
- Modifications for an NBA team will cost $55 million in taxpayer bonds. Practice facility, training center to be included.
- Practice facility would be built on parking deck and ran by Olympia Entertainment.
- Pistons will donate $2.5 million to renovate more than 60 basketball courts around the city of Detroit.
- Pistons will offer 20,000 free tickets to the community.
- Pistons hoping for approval by March of 2017.
- Mayor Duggan tells the board that $34 million from the city will be needed and that the city is in much better shape than it was when deal was struck to build the new arena in 2014.
- DDA will need to amend its District Detroit plan and submit to city council for approval. Extension of bonds will be need for three to five years.
- According to the plan, boundaries for The District Detroit would not change.
- Arn Tellem (Vice Chairman of Palace Sports and Entertainment) thanks the board for its efforts to help bring the Pistons back to the city of Detroit.
- Tellem says Pistons are bringing 150-200 employees of its own to the city. Adds that people working on practice facility site will add numerous jobs. He says he's not sure of the specific number, but thinks the impact it has on the surrounding area will affect the jobs of more than 2,000 people.
- Public comments include a Detroit resident saying that the Pistons arrival brings nothing to Detroit as the Wings are already in the stadium and pouring more money into the area makes no difference to the project's outreach.