It’s been no secret that the Detroit Red Wings’ playing days at Joe Louis Arena are numbered. We’ve heard rumors about a new arena going up in the Foxtown area; other rumblings have a new rink going in at Michigan and Trumbull.
But did you read the report in The Detroit News today? Apparently the Ilitch family has chatted with Pistons and Palace owner Karen Davidson about not only purchasing the Palace of Auburn Hills, but moving the Wings to Oakland County. What do we at the Kage think of that idea? We no likey.
My guess is, any move to Auburn Hills would be a temporary one until a new arena is built downtown, but I’m still not a fan of it. And that theory only makes sense if the new arena were to be built at the same site as the Joe. Otherwise, why not stay where you’re at during construction?
A lot of factors could be at play here, including (one) the expansion of Cobo Center, and (two) the fact that Davidson is reportedly selling not just the arena, but the Pistons franchise. With a new owner, the Pistons wouldn’t have to play at the Palace, which would mean a new basketball arena too. And maybe, like the Lions, a new owner would prefer to move the Pistons back downtown. Ilitch reportedly has no interest in owning an NBA team, but if two teams in the same market are considering building new arenas, it might make sense to build one that could house both, ala the United Center in Chicago.
I could live with that. For years I've wished the Pistons would return downtown. But the Wings moving to the Palace? Say it isn't so!