DETROIT (WWJ) – The lawsuit that could block the Pistons move to Downtown Detroit has been voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiffs.
It was announced on Saturday that the lawsuit against the Detroit Downtown Development Authority will be dropped by the plaintiffs, Robert Davis and D. Etta Wilcoxon. Through this dismissal the Pistons move to Little Caesars Arena will no longer be in jeopardy.
“The City is very pleased to have prevailed in this case, and we are looking forward to the Pistons coming to Detroit,” Detroit Corporation Counsel Melvin “Butch” Hollowell said in a release.
The lawsuit originally was looking for a temporary restraining order to block around $34 million of school millage money, taxpayer money that has been earmarked by the Detroit Downtown Development Authority to help pay for Little Caesars Arena, still under construction, and a new downtown headquarters for the Pistons.
With the dismissal, more than $34 million is now freed up to make changes at the arena to accommodate the basketball team. The money will also go toward a new training facility and headquarters for the Pistons in the New Center area.
Glen W. Long, Jr., CFO and interim president and CEO of Detroit Economic Growth Corp., also issued a statement backing the latest move to dismiss the lawsuit.
“We are clearly pleased that this challenge to a very important project for Detroiters has ended,” Long said. “The plaintiffs obviously came to realize what we knew from the beginning, that their case had no merit. The Downtown Development Authority was aggressively seeking sanctions against the plaintiffs and their attorney for their clearly frivolous claims. We believe that led to their filing for dismissal in order to avoid losing and facing judicial sanctions.”
The Pistons are expected to play next season in Little Caesars Arena, with the new stadium and entertainment district set to open in September.