Column: Is move to downtown Detroit the best move for the Red Wings and Pistons?
Both teams will relocate to Little Caesers Arena by the 2017-18 season
Editor's note: Lanthorn sports writers Robbie Triano and Jake Carroll debate whether or not having both the Red Wings and the Pistons move into one place is the best thing for the city and its fans.
Jake Carroll: I pitched (Lanthorn Sports Editor Beau Troutman) an idea for a column about the Detroit Pistons and the Detroit Red Wings moving to Little Caesars Arena and he said we should have a discussion about it. Let me know what you think! Personally, I think that the Wings need a switch, but the Pistons should stay where they are.
Robbie Triano: Good question, Jake. To me, this move to have all four major sports teams in the city of Detroit is not only great for the city, but really coming at a perfect time for a young Pistons team that has their best years ahead of them. This team is a potential Eastern Conference contender in the playoffs, but still developing its youthful and promising roster at the same time, sort of like the city of Detroit in recent years after the economic downfall of 2008. Most big market cities have all of their sports teams located within the city, so why shouldn't Detroit?
JC: See, I can understand that it will be good for the city of Detroit, and it will undoubtedly bring some jobs back to the city, but just think about fan security. Right now, The Palace of Auburn Hills is in a relatively safe area. They have their own parking lot and there isn't much risk in going to a Pistons game, unlike a Red Wings game in downtown Detroit where anything can happen. At the Joe, there's nowhere to park, and no "safe space." This might just be the sheltered small town kid in me talking, but I would much rather go to a game in Auburn Hills than Detroit.
RT: That's a good point, I would like to see how that plays out because I agree, the parking situation at the Joe is a little shaky (and expensive). But what Detroit offers that Auburn Hills does not is the opportunity for fans to continue the experience after the final buzzer. It's a reality that drinking and alcohol are a major part of the fan experience for those over 21 years old, because people go to these games to have a great experience with friends and family. But after the games, what is there to do in Auburn Hills besides drive back home? Little Caesars Arena allows the fan to continue their downtown experience, which could mean going out to local bars, casinos, or get delicious late-night munchies at places like Lafayette Coney Island and Green Dot Stables.
JC: I can get behind that. I wouldn't know the experience because I'm only 19, but I can agree that some people definitely make a night out of it. However, on a financial note, the ticket prices will likely be higher for both teams. Some prospective ticket prices already were released for the Red Wings, and the 200 level seats (nosebleeds) are thought to start at 40-65 dollars per seat. No fan wants to break the bank to sit a mile away from the ice. Pistons prices haven't been released yet, but I would assume they would be similar in price. I bought seats for a Pistons game for 35 dollars and I was eight rows from the floor. I likely wouldn't be able to do that at LCA.
RT: Ouch, didn't really think about that. I'm a diehard Pistons fan that lives about 15 minutes from the new area, but as a college student I might have to empty out my pockets just to see my team in action. Although we have our qualms about the new security and possibly selling our arms and legs to afford tickets, I think we can agree that this arena is good for the city economically and to finally have all four major sports team in the same city. The hype is real.