Mike Ilitch has officially notified the Pistons about his interest in purchasing the team. The franchise currently resides in the suburb of Auburn Hills, playing at the Palace, but Ilitch wants to secure a new downtown arena to house both the Pistons and Red Wings.
Ilitch, who also owns the Red Wings and Tigers, said the basketball team needs to remain in Detroit. Piston’s owner Karen Davidson hopes to have the team sold prior to the upcoming season. The franchise could be sold by itself or as part of a package with Palace Sports and Entertainment.
Forbes has valued the Pistons at 479-million dollars but reported last week that the team could sell for at least 100-million dollars below market value. It cited the local economy and NBA labor uncertainty as contributing factors. The lease for the Red Wings' current home at Joe Louis Arena expired on June 30th while the Pistons haven't called Detroit home since leaving Cobo Arena for the Pontiac Silverdome in 1978.