Pistons View Newly Opened Detroit HQ As Economic Catalyst
The Pistons opened their new HQ yesterday, and there are "hopes" that Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center will "serve as an economic catalyst north of downtown," according to Vince Ellis of the DETROIT FREE PRESS. At the opening event, Pistons Owner Tom Gores, Vice Chair Arn Tellem, Mayor Mike Duggan and Henry Ford Health System President & CEO Wright Lassiter "touted the economic benefits of the development, which will house roughly 250 employees." The building's "main purpose will be to house the franchise." The team will "practice for the first time in the facility" today, and the business operations will "complete the move later this month." The HQ's design features "floor-to-ceiling windows and retail space," in "contrast to similar facilities recently built by other NBA teams." Tenants like Blink Fitness and Plum Market will be "retail anchors providing foot traffic." Large windows throughout the HQ "emphasize natural lighting," and the upper floors have "views of the Detroit skyline." There also is "space to house" the operations of the team's G League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive, which the Pistons are planning to bring to Detroit soon (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 10/8).
NEW ERA: In Detroit, Rod Beard notes the new facility is "effectively ending" the team's "three-decades' run in The Palace and the adjacent practice facility." Along the sidewalks at the new HQ are "homages to the Pistons' greats, including Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Dave Bing and others." The new facility is "about two miles from Little Caesars Arena," and it "completes the next phase of the Pistons' relocation." Gores said that the HQ is "not just an end point." Gores: "This is an important milestone, but our work in Detroit is only getting started. Our ambitions have always been bigger than just basketball" (DETROIT NEWS, 10/8). Lassiter said the Pistons' new facility is a "trendsetter." Tellem said it is a "total game-changer for our team, our organization and our community." He referred to the HQ, Little Caesars Arena and a planned new Wayne State arena as the "epicenter of Detroit basketball" (DETROIT NEWS, 10/8).
FIRST STEP OF MANY: In Detroit, John Niyo notes there "weren't all that many more" fans in the stands at Little Caesars Arena last night for a preseason Magic-Pistons game. While exhibition games are "hardly a barometer for anything," it is "another reminder of the challenges this franchise still faces in retrofitting its fan base." Gores acknowledged those challenges yesterday, saying the new facility is a "win for Detroit," but "we still have a lot to do" (DETROIT NEWS, 10/8).