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Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Sale of Pistons being discussed

Associated Press

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons might be for sale.

"The options are being explored," Pistons owner Karen Davidson said Wednesday night after the first quarter of a game against the Boston Celtics.

Her husband, Bill Davidson, died last year. The late owner known as "Mr. D" helped the Pistons win NBA titles in 2004, 1990 and 1989.

He had said during an interview before his enshrinement into the Basketball Hall of Fame that a succession plan was in place to keep the team in the family and it would not be sold

"The Pistons won't be for sale," Davidson told The Associated Press in 2008.

Forbes valued the Pistons at $479 million last month.

Karen Davidson told reporters the team could be sold by itself or as part of a package with Palace Sports and Entertainment, which includes The Palace of Auburn Hills, DTE Energy Music Theatre and Meadow Brook Music Festival.

The Red Wings chose not to renew their lease, which expires June 30, at Joe Louis Arena in downtown Detroit.

"As we have said, we are working with the City of Detroit to develop a new lease for Joe Louis Arena," Ilitch Holdings Inc. spokeswoman Karen Cullen said Wednesday. "We are not going to discuss our negotiations or respond to speculation on this topic."

Davidson said she has not talked to the Mike Ilitch family, which owns the Red Wings, about having the NHL team play future home games at The Palace, adding she was sure there have been talks between the organizations.

She joked with reporters at halftime that there is an ice rink under the court, referring to the surface the Detroit Vipers played on when they were in the International Hockey League.