Detroit City Council approves $34.5 million in bonds for Detroit Pistons to move into new arena

Jun 20, 2017

Credit Olympia Entertainment

The Detroit Pistons are one step closer to playing downtown again.

Despite backlash from some residents, Detroit city council has approved $34.5 million in bonds so the Pistons can move into the Little Caesars Arena downtown.

Some Detroiters are unhappy with the deal because the bonds are taxpayer funded with money originally intended for schools and parks. 

Council President Brenda Jones was one of two members to vote no on the bonds.

She shares the concerns of those residents who spoke out against the bonds, and are worried there aren’t enough community benefits in this deal.

“There is not enough guaranteed in writing to what the Pistons will do for Detroiters past the fact of building and relocating to the facility in the days to come,” Jones said.

Council member Mary Sheffield was one of the seven “yes” votes at the meeting. She says the deal does include some, but not all, of the community benefits she fought to include.

“But as we move forward in the city of Detroit, I do believe that this will be a huge economic impact to the residents of the city of Detroit and district 5 as a whole,” Sheffield said.

A federal judge denied an emergency injunction attempting to block funding for the project yesterday. 

The Pistons and the Red Wings will begin to share the new arena starting this fall.