DETROIT – When the Pistons move to Detroit next season, it will complete an unmatched density of professional sports teams in a North American city's core downtown, according to project planners.
The NBA team's move to the Little Caesar's Arena will put the Pistons, Red Wings, Tigers and Lions all within four blocks of the city's downtown. It's not the only U.S. city with all of its pro teams in one place -- Philadelphia has its South Sports Complex for its teams -- but it will be the only city with the teams housed in its core.
The distinction is important because of efforts to revive the city's core and draw people back into Detroit. The Pistons contribute another 41 home games to Downtown's schedule of events.
Mayor Mike Duggan, appearing with Pistons owner Tom Gores and Christopher Illitch, whose family owns the Red Wings and Tigers, said the Pistons move shows Detroit continues its comeback.
“This is further proof of Detroit’s resurgence and we look forward to welcoming the Pistons in their new home,” said Duggan, adding the news made for a "very happy Thanksgiving in Detroit."
He also noted that Detroit built its stadiums within the "fabric of city life."
The move also caught the attention of another promiment Downtown Detroiter. Dan Gilbert, who has invested millions of dollars in Downtown real estate and owns the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, welcomed the Pistons back to the city.
Gilbert also noted Detroit was the last NBA franchise to be located outside of its city's urban core.