The NBA team will complete its move to downtown Detroit on Wednesday with its first regular season game against the Charlotte Hornets.and more »
Pistons will kick off first season at Little Caesars Arena on Wednesday
Entertainment, giveaways will take place inside and outside new arena
Owner Tom Gores announced the move nearly a year ago after almost three decades in Auburn Hills
The Detroit Pistons are ready to begin a new era at their new home at Little Caesars Arena, starting with a packed lineup of festivities and giveaways for its regular season opener on Wednesday against the Charlotte Hornets
"A great lineup of fan festivities and musical entertainment will make opening night an event our fans will remember long after the final buzzer," Detroit Pistons Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer Charlie Metzger said in a news release.
A list of opening night festivities will kick off at 3 p.m. on the arena plaza outside the downtown Detroit arena to welcome the team and its fans downtown after playing for nearly three decades at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Fans attending the game will get a commemorative T-shirt and an LED bracelet from PixMob that can be used as part of the pregame and halftime shows. The bracelets are "designed to create togetherness through light" and create "an immersive fan experience throughout opening festivities," the news release said. Guests are asked to be seated by 7 p.m. to light up the new arena, part of an $863 million entertainment complex.
Scheduled entertainment includes performances by Detroit native and rapper Dej Loaf, Michigan native and 2016 "American Idol" contestant Manny Torres and five-time Grammy-nominated singer Skylar Grey. Festivities will also feature performances by the Detroit Pistons entertainment teams, basketball and corn hole games, face painting and appearances by Pistons players and former stars.
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Inside, Troy-based United Shore Financial Services LLC will host Power Hour on the Via Concourse with a live DJ, an appearance by Hooper the mascot and promotional giveaways.
The Pistons' full opening night schedule can be found here.
A yearlong relocation
Wednesday night's activities will culminate a nearly yearlong process since team owner Tom Gores announced last November that the team would return to the city . Team executives had to clear hurdles that included a $34.5 million bond approval by the Detroit City Council in June, a court challenge and relocation approval by the National Basketball Association's Board of Governors.
It will complete each of Detroit's four major sports teams' moves, in less than two decades, to new stadiums within one mile of one another.
The Pistons' former home is expected to be razed after the land was rezoned as a tech and research district earlier this year.
In February, Forbes valued the Pistons at $900 million, a $50 million increase from a year ago that does not reflect what's expected to be a jump in value after the team relocates to Little Caesars Arena.
Gores bought the team, along with Palace Sports & Entertainment, for $325 million from longtime owner William Davidson's widow Karen in 2011.
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