The local media may want you to believe the Pistons’ move to Detroit is inevitable, but that’s not the case.
As required by law, city council must approve the deal, and several public hearings are required for input on the $34.5 million subsidy to billionaire team owner Tom Gores. Suggesting the move is a slam dunk is offensive to Detroiters and disrespectful to the democratic process.
Even Mayor Mike Duggan acknowledged the move was “preliminary.”
This is a preliminary deal and we still have a long way to go. We wanted to share this with our community.
— Mayor Mike Duggan (@MayorMikeDuggan) November 22, 2016
Many Detroiters are opposed to the subsidy and question why a team owner worth $3.9 billion needs the tax dollars.
Gores did not say Tuesday whether he would still move the team to Detroit if city council opposes the subsidy. Those hearings have not yet been scheduled, and the council is required to gather public input before making any decisions.
Let’s take a look at how the media spun a false narrative:
- Crain’s Detroit: “It’s official: The Pistons are moving to Detroit to play at Little Caesars Arena beginning in 2017.”
- Detroit Free Press: “A sports-crazy town now has all its four major league sports teams back where they belong — in the heart of the downtown core.”
- WDIV: “The Pistons announced Tuesday that they will open the 2017-18 season at Little Caesars Arena.”
- Fox 2: “The team will be playing out of the new Little Caesars Arena, sharing the Red Wings home.”
- Mitch Albom: “On Tuesday, that tug became a handshake, that handshake became a deal, and that deal will return NBA basketball to downtown.”
None of this is true.
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Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.