New Lawsuit Claims Detroit Authorities Broke Law With Pistons Deal

DETROIT (CBS Detroit) — A lawsuit filed in Detroit this week says the announced plans for the Detroit Pistons to move to the downtown area broke a Michigan law.

The lawsuit states that the agreement between the Detroit Downtown Authority, Ilitch Holdings and Pistons owner Tom Gores violated Michigan’s Open Meetings Act, the Detroit Free Press reports, because the deal was made behind closed doors before a public vote.

The suit was filed by activist Robert Davis on Thursday and said that the DDA “intentionally divided itself” into a smaller committee to shut out the public.

In a press conference on November 22, Tom Gores — along with Ilitch Holdings president & CEO Chris Ilitch, Detroit mayor Mike Duggan and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — announced that the team would play at Little Caesars Arena starting Fall 2017.

The city of Detroit issued $250 million in public bonds in 2014 to help finance the new home for the Detroit Red Wings. The Olympia organization is responsible for all the cost above the $250 million.

“We’re delighted to not just move to the city, to commit to all these community benefits, we want to be all in in Detroit,” vice chairman of the Palace Sports and Entertainment Arn Tellem said.

The Pistons are currently playing their 29th and final season at The Palace of Auburn Hills and will honor that history throughout the season.

Moving the Pistons to the new arena is expected to add an extra $34.5 million in public money to the project. The move downtown must still be approved by the Detroit City Council and the NBA.

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