The Pistons will announce Tuesday at 3 p.m. that they will move to Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit starting with the 2017-18 season, a source told The Detroit News on Monday.

The source requested anonymity because an official announcement has not yet taken place.

The announcement will follow a 2:30 p.m. meeting of the city’s Downtown Development Authority board at Detroit Cass Tech High School. The meeting is open to the public.

The DDA votes on whether to support private investments and business growth within Detroit’s central business district with loans, sponsorships and grants, infrastructure improvements and other programs that increase economic activity.

In 2015, the DDA signed off on zoning changes that allowed for construction to start on Little Caesars Arena, which will be the new home ice of the Red Wings — and where the Pistons are expected to move to if a deal is reached. The rezoning allowed for vertical construction at the arena site and the razing of a historic building.

Pistons owner Tom Gores, founder of Los Angeles-based Platinum Equity, earlier in November said he and officials from companies owned by Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch were “very close” to reaching a deal on the move.

The Pistons have been at The Palace of Auburn Hills since 1988. The 20,000-seat Little Caesars Arena will open by the start of the 2017 NHL season in less than a year.

The DDA typically meets on the second and fourth Thursday of each month in the Guardian Building downtown. Cass Tech sits a few blocks away from Little Caesars Arena.

DDA spokesman Bob Rossbach would not say what the DDA would discuss at Tuesday’s meeting.

Seating capacity for basketball games at The Palace is nearly 20,000. The seating capacity for hockey games at Little Caesars Arena is 20,000 for hockey games and up to 21,000 for basketball.

In October, part of the remaining discussions included building a separate practice facility for the Pistons downtown, but a location hadn’t been identified. Potential sites included land the Ilitch family already owns in the downtown area, including a three-block swatch of property just across from the MotorCity Casino, which is owned by Marian Ilitch.

If the Pistons do move downtown, The Palace’s future is unclear, but it could be redeveloped for other uses. The Palace already hosts concerts, circuses and other events.

At Pistons media day in September, Gores repeated his interest in moving the team downtown under the right terms and hinted that negotiations were in the works.

“We’re always looking at it. We’ve gotten a chance to really get to know the Ilitches,” Gores said then. “I know Chris now well. They’re a great family and I respect a lot of what they’ve done for Detroit.

“We’re always assessing it, but it’s got to be good for everybody — us included — and for our fans.”

The Pistons haven’t played in downtown Detroit in nearly 40 years.


Article Courtesy of Detroit News