DETROIT – During a discussion on Detroit’s future at the annual “Pancakes & Politics” breakfast, savvy businessman Dan Gilbert suggested that the Detroit Pistons move to downtown Detroit.
Gilbert is the Chairman and founder of Quicken Loans and is the majority owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. The Michigan Gaming Board also approved Gilbert’s plan to purchase the majority stake in Detroit’s Greektown-Casino Hotel.
He says he’s talked before with Pistons owner Tom Gores about the prospect of moving the Pistons to Detroit. Gilbert said, “I always try to put the bug in his ear.”
Gilbert compared the crowd that attends NBA games in Cleveland versus attendance numbers for Pistons games at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
He told the crowd that on average, attendance numbers for Cleveland NBA games are 15,000 to 16,000 compared to 3,000 to 4,000 for Pistons games in Auburn Hills.
He says people like to go downtown for the restaurants, atmosphere and excitement. Gilbert says people like the action and experience of downtown areas.
“Let’s face it these are arenas, they don’t belong in a farmland in the suburbs. Think about it, that doesn’t make any sense.”