Detroit is now spending $70.5m on a furshlugginer practice facility for the Pistons

Here’s an article from yesterday’s Detroit News about how the state of Michigan approved giving $16 million in brownfield tax credits to Pistons owner Tom Gores for his team’s new downtown practice facility. Which, okay, brownfield incentives, you’re kind of just giving developers the cash to clean up pollution on a site and ready it for a new use, so that’s not so bad.

Except that not mentioned anywhere in the article is that Gores is already getting $20 million in regular old tax breaks, plus $34.5 million in city bonds to be repaid with future property tax revenues. So really this increases the amount of public cash being spent to $70.5 million — on a practice facility, mind you. Which is on top of roughly $300 million that the state and city spent on the new arena where the Pistons (and Red Wings) will actually play games.

For this price, Detroiters at least get to enjoy watching sports in a state-of-the-art arena. Or not watching sports, as the case may be:

7 comments on “Detroit is now spending $70.5m on a furshlugginer practice facility for the Pistons

  1. The subsidy is working! Those fans had such fun in downtown Detroit that they didn’t even come into the game.

    I hear the homeless beggar obstacle course is a real hit, as is the out-sprint the mugger track.

  2. I doubt it has anything to do with crime. The Red Wings and Tigers and Lions all play in that neighborhood and don’t suffer attendance problems.

    I’d say the issue is charging premium prices for a decidedly non-premium on-court product.

    • Are there people in seats for wings games? I thought that they were reporting high attendance but that people were not actually at the games.

      • The Red Wings have basically sold 97-100 percent of capacity for a long time, to include this year. However, this year Detroit’s NHL club is another team selling premium-priced tickets for a lousy team, so maybe folks have other things to do.

  3. I went to the Piston’s home opener…free ticket. Good seats…seven rows up in the lower bowl, just even with one of the baskets…$203.00.

  4. The practice facility scam is stunning in its brazenness. The team owners can’t even pretend to use the “will create jobs” (it’s just same staff, new place) or “will generate revenue through attendance” (because there is no attendance) excuses.

    Besides, what were the Pistons going to do after moving downtown. Set up a practice facility in Windsor CA?