The Detroit Pistons may be on their way back to downtown Detroit sooner rather than later, as progress is being made in the team’s attempt to move into Little Caesars Arena, which is currently scheduled to be finished by September 2017, per Louis Aguilar and Rod Beard of The Detroit News.
A deal does not appear to be imminent, as there are many other factors affecting the process, including negotiations involving the Detroit Red Wings, but the fact that progress is being made lends hope to the fact that the team may be heading back to Detroit for the first time in three decades.
The Pistons currently play their home games at The Palace of Auburn Hills, where they have been since the 1988-89 season. They won their first NBA championship in the building in its inaugural season and then the following season as well, followed by a 2004 championship. Prior to playing in Auburn Hills, they called the Pontiac Silverdome their home arena from 1978-1988.
Detroit is entering its third season under Stan Van Gundy, who led the team to the postseason in 2015-16 before they were swept out in the first round by the Cleveland Cavaliers en route to a title. The team has locked up two cornerstones of their franchise to long-term deals in point guard Reggie Jackson and center Andre Drummond, the latter of which signed a max five-year deal worth $130 million this offseason.
Coming off a 44-win season, the Pistons are set to open the 2016-17 campaign on the road on Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors. The season’s opener at The Palace is scheduled for Friday against the Orlando Magic.