Mayor: Elated Pistons Deal Involves Ilitch

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bing dave new wwj photo Mayor: Elated Pistons Deal Involves IlitchDetroit Mayor Dave Bing said Wednesday there are a “couple of options” where Mike Ilitch could build a new arena to be the home of the Detroit Red Wings and Pistons.

A 30-day negotiations window has opened between the current owner of the Detroit Pistons, Karen Davidson, and Tigers and Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch.

Speaking live on WWJ Newsradio 950, Bing said he didn’t want to get into where the new arena could go.

“We don’t control all the land, I don’t think the Ilitch family controls all the land and therefore you have alot of speculators coming out that could muddy the deal up,” Bing said.

Bing said he would love to see the basketball team in the city. But he said it would be difficult to use public money to help build an arena and the city’s role in financing is his biggest worry.

“I think that’s going to be very difficult, only because of the financial crisis the city itself finds itself in,” Bing said. “I don’t know if there are opportunities at the state level who also has financial problems.”

“Anything we can do to support Mike being successful we will do,” Bing said referring to Mike Ilitch. “We gotta be very careful that we don’t put the city in a perilous situation….but I’m elated that Mike is moving forward with this purchase, I hope it happens.

Asked if Mike Ilitch has too much power in the city, Bing said “I can’t hold it against him for being successful,” adding “there’s no white knight in armor coming to save Detroit and hopefully Mike will be able to pull this off.”

Bing said for the Pistons and Red Wings to continue playing at the Palace of Auburn Hills would be nightmare scenario.

“It obviously would be and it could be one for Mike also because the fan base I think is in Detroit and for them to go all the way out to the Palace I think would be a negative.”

Click here for more on what a move might mean for Oakland County.

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