Pistons cover empty seats with black seat covers

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Detroit — Pistons fans are seeing red no more.

At Little Caesars Arena, there’s a lot less red — the color of all the seats in the arena — after the Pistons added a few thousand black seat covers, sponsored by the Art Van furniture company, on Monday.

The seat covers were added the day after Art Van Elslander, the founder of Art Van company, died at the age of 87. Pistons officials confirmed that the covers are part of a new corporate partnership with Art Van and are not related directly to Van Elslander’s passing.

The agreement appears to be with the Pistons and not the Red Wings.

There were undetermined number of seat covers — in the areas stretching the length of each sideline but not in the sections behind the baskets — and it’s unclear whether they might add more to cover the entire lower bowl at a later time.

“I noticed almost immediately,” said Toney Moore, 60, a Pistons season-ticketholder, who was sitting in one of the end sections, without the covers.

One of the bigger issues about the red seats was that they’ve been an eyesore, especially on TV, when there were large pockets of empty seats around the arena. The Pistons have had just five sellouts this season, so the red seats had been a point of emphasis among national media, who have pointed out the Pistons issues with attracting fans in their first year in a new downtown arena they are sharing with the Red Wings.