NBA may not approve Pistons relocation to downtown Detroit

Nov. 29, 2015 - New York, NY, U.S. - Detroit Pistons head coach STAN VAN GUNDY during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015 (Photo by Bryan Smith/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)
Bryan Smith/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

[UPDATE]: A federal judge has since denied the request to block public funding for Little Caesars Arena and the Detroit Pistons’ eventual relocation to the downtown area of the “Motor City.”

It appears as though the Detroit Pistons’ attempt at relocating to the downtown area of the city has hit a rough patch. According to an affidavit from the team’s chief financial officer, Greg Campbell, the NBA may not approve the Pistons’ move to downtown Detroit if “all legal and financing matters are not settled before its board meets next month.”

“This uncertainty creates material financial risk to the Pistons and may affect the NBA’s evaluation of, and willingness to vote upon or approve of, the Pistons’ proposed relocation,” Campbell said. “The Pistons’ proposed relocation from Auburn Hills to the city remains subject to the approval of the National Basketball Association and its Board of Governors.”

It is also worth noting that the approximated cost of the potential move has already increased to $862 million while previously slated to cost $450 million. On the other hand, the project will likely be 62 percent privately funded.

“There is little time left to preserve the delicate balance of this complicated set of development agreements,” attorneys revealed over the weekend. “If this lawsuit remains pending and if the NBA or the Pistons find that the financing plan is at risk, the damage to the city of Detroit’s redevelopment plans would be incalculable.”

As a result, a hearing has been scheduled for Monday and will take place before Judge Mark Goldsmith in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Michigan.

“The NBA does not intend to vote upon or provide this approval unless and until all material elements of the Pistons’ relocation to the city have been finalized,” Campbell added.

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