The Pistons haven’t called Detroit proper their home since 1978. Owner Tom Gores would like to change that. Last week, Gores hired agent Arn Tellem in an executive role, and Tellem’s first project will be exploring the team’s options to return to downtown.
“We will put Arn in charge of helping us analyze how we can talk to the other business leaders,” Gores said. “We are going to charter Arn to study that (moving downtown). It will be one of his first things.”
The Pistons have two viable options. They can move into the new Red Wings arena, which is scheduled to open in 2017, and share it with Olympia Entertainment. There is also a Hail Mary option to tear down the half-built Wayne County Jail and build an arena in conjunction with Quicken Loans chairman Dan Gilbert.
Either way, the Pistons would be allying with one of the two billionaires who have been given free rein—and hundreds of millions in taxpayer money and subsidies—to spearhead downtown’s rebirth. It’s a plan many Detroiters don’t like, and will be actively hurt by. But as these things usually go, they get no say in the matter.