DETROIT (CelebrityAccess) — Detroit Pistons Owner Tom Gores, Ilitch Holdings, Inc. President and CEO Christopher Ilitch and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced they have agreed to a deal that will see the Detroit Pistons move to downtown Detroit and begin playing at the new Little Caesars Arena starting next season.
The deal will see the Pistons join the under-construction arena's other tenants, the Detroit Redwings. Once the move is complete, Detroit will be the only major North American city to have each of the four major professional sports leagues housed within four blocks in its urban core.
“This is a historic day for our franchise, and for the City of Detroit,” Mr. Gores said. “We’re moving to a beautiful new arena that will provide a state-of-the-art fan experience, and we’re investing in the future of Detroit.
“I've always believed that a sports franchise is a community asset with the power to unite and inspire people," he added. “There’s a big responsibility that goes with that, but there’s also a big payoff. Not just for the city of Detroit, but for the whole region. Detroit is rising, reinventing itself. The Pistons are doing the same. We’re in this together, and we couldn’t be more excited about that.”
Both the Pistons and the Redwings will remain separate and each sports franchise will continue managing its own business operations, but Ilitch Holdings, Inc. and PS&E have agreed to establish a joint venture for non-sports entertainment offerings. The joint vnture will include not only Little Caesar's Arena when it opens, but Comerica Park, Fox Theatre, City Theatre, The Palace of Auburn Hills, DTE Energy Music Theatre, Meadow Brook Amphitheatre and Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, the two companies said.
The arena, which broke ground in September 2014, is expected to cost $732 million to complete, with Michigan taxpayers on the hook for $250 million for the arena. – Staff Writers