Friday, July 16, 2010

Pistons Aren't Going Anywhere. Here's Why...

When speculation began about an existing NBA franchise moving to Las Vegas, it was natural, I suppose, the Pistons' would be mentioned if, for no other reason, they are clearly being sold. But the chances of the team moving from the Detroit area - even before the organization issued a statement saying they were not being sold to the rumored Las Vegas investor - were very remote. The Palace of Auburn Hills remains a state-of-the-art facility. And it is paid for - free and clear. Other teams considering movement, especially in a larger media market like Detroit (11th nationally), usually have arena issues - like Seattle when the franchise was moved to Oklahoma City. The NBA does seem fascinated by Las Vegas and all its glitz and glitter, despite the obvious drawback of it being a gambling Mecca. And it is the 33rd largest media market in the nation, just ahead of Orlando. It is also bigger than NBA markets in Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Memphis and New Orleans. It is roughly the same size as San Antonio, Salt Lake City and Cleveland. Detroit's media market is more than double the size (roughly 3.8 million people) of any of the above-mentioned markets. The combination of The Palace and market size makes it highly likely the Pistons will be moved. And while the economy is still sputtering around these parts, it's not much different than the rest of the country these days.

My latest column in The Oakland Press: Five reasons the Tigers won't fade this time -



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