The Detroit Pistons are announcing that the storied franchise will be relocating to downtown Detroit. Beginning in 2017-2018 season, the Pistons will call Little Caesars Arena, which is still under construction, home. The arena is said to have a seating capacity of up to 21,000. The move will bring the team back to Detroit for the first time in nearly 40 years after dazzling their fan base in Oakland County at the Palace of Auburn Hills since 1988 and the Pontiac Silverdome for a decade prior.
According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan on behalf of Pistons’ owner Tom Gores, the move will generate nearly $600 million in economic impact as well as create about 2,000 new jobs. The Pistons will share the arena with the Detroit Red Wings, who are also relocating from their current home of Joe Louis Arena.
The Palace will live in infamy for the 2004 Pistons-Pacers brawl, also known as the “Malice at the Palace”. However, when it first opened its doors in 1988, the Isiah Thomas led Bad Boys brought two consecutive championship banners to properly christen the new arena in the 1988-1989 and 1989-1990 NBA seasons.
Fourteen years later, the blue-collar squad of Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace, Tayshaun Prince, and Ben Wallace quickly dismantled the highly favored Los Angeles Lakers in five games to bring another championship to Auburn Hills.
With the Pistons return to Detroit, it will also mark the first time since 1978 that all four of the city’s major sports franchises (Detroit Loins, Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons) will play together in the city