Would the Pistons leave The Palace of Auburn Hills to return to Detroit? I talked to L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County Executive to find out.
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley wrote a column last week clamoring for Pistons owner Tom Gores to move the team back to Detroit. We’ve heard these type of rumblings before – like from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Dan Gilbert just this past September. Do you think it’s possible Pistons would ever leave Oakland County for Detroit in the near future?
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson – Well, based on what they’ve told me, the answer is “No.” But, you know, things change a year or two or ten years down the road. But, I don’t think so. We’ve got a huge investment out there. They’ve put in millions since Gores bought the whole program, the entertainment side and the basketball side. He’s got a $300 million plus stadium there. If he pulls the team out, what’s he going to use it for? There are only so many tractor pulls. So, I think he’s got a lot of financial reasons to stay here, in Oakland County where the investment’s been made.
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – If you saw it leaning in this direction toward the Pistons leaving, would Oakland County do anything to keep the team here?
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson – Oh sure. They’ve been over here many times talking about different projects that we can partner on. So we have a good working relationship with them. I can pick up the phone and I could dispatch probably 3 or 4 of my top guys over to the leadership team of this organization and try to turn it to our side, but if that happened, by time they announced it (if they ever announce they’re going downtown), I’m pretty sure most of the hard lifting has been done and it may be too late. But, right now, they’re reassuring me every time we talk that they’re staying put.
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson – A couple things on Rochelle Riley… everybody is saying “We want the Pistons to come home.” Well, if that’s the case, then send them to Ft. Wayne. That’s where Detroit got them from. They were the Ft. Wayne Pistons. So, bring them home? Ok. But, I don’t think Ft. Wayne wants them.