The Detroit Pistons have officially submitted bids to host an upcoming NBA All-Star Game at Little Caesars Arena. According to the team, the bids were to hold the event in either 2020 or 2021.
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NBA All-Star events not only include the All-Star Game, but also the NBA Rising Stars Challenge, a celebrity game, a skills competition as well as several fan events.
Should the NBA All-Star Game return to Detroit, it would be the first time since 1959 that the event was last held within the city limits. The game was played at Olympia Stadium, while the 1979 NBA All-Star Game was held at the Pontiac Silverdome. The Palace of Auburn Hills never hosted the event.
Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson certainly endorsed the idea of the event being held in the Motor City.
“It will be great for the outlook of the city to definitely get back up there in relevance as one of the best sports towns in America,” he said during an interview with the Detroit Free Press on Friday. “It will be fabulous.”
Pistons vice chairman Arn Tellem explained why he believes the new state-of-the-art facilities in Detroit qualify as being able to host the NBA’s biggest weekend.
“Given the anticipation around the sparkling new state-of-the-art Little Caesars Arena and our organization’s collective experience, expertise and organizational resources, we feel our group is uniquely qualified to host NBA All-Star weekend events,” he said.
Pistons owner Tom Gores also shared his thoughts.
“Detroit is an iconic sports town with some of the most passionate basketball fans in the world,” he said. “There is also a spirit of renewal and an energy in Detroit right now that is unlike anywhere in the country. I want the league and all fans of the NBA to be part of this incredible turnaround story.”
The Pistons announced in November that they’d be leaving the Palace of Auburn Hills, their home since 1989, to join the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena starting this upcoming season. During the press conference officially announcing the move, NBA commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged the possibility of the festivities returning to Detroit.
“I think it greatly enhances their chance to get an All-Star Game,” Silver said.
The new LCA has been racking up the events as the official opening gradually draws near. While obviously not official, the proposition of the NBA All-Star festivities becomes the latest major event.
The submitting of bids comes days after Olympia Entertainment announced a college basketball doubleheader featuring Michigan playing Detroit Mercy, and Michigan State playing Oakland. And then earlier this month, LCA earned rights to host future major college events, most notably the Frozen Four and NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament games.