Unclear what Pistons-Wayne State deal means for Drive

Sports

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Plans for the Detroit Pistons to house their development team in Detroit are calling into question the future of the Grand Rapids Drive.

The Drive said in a Wednesday statement that it is not moving.

“We have no plans on relocating to Detroit, but continue to have great communication and a positive relationship with the Pistons organization,” the statement read in part.

Wayne State University is building a new $25 million arena with seating for 3,000. The Pistons have reached a deal to use it for G-League games.

It’s possible that the Pistons could launch a new G-League team in Detroit. If that happens, the Drive would lose its affiliation.

Regardless, the Drive says it is “deeply committed” to fans and is happy in Grand Rapids. It says it is looking forward to its sixth season this fall “in partnership with the Detroit Pistons and the NBA.”

The full statement from the Drive:

“We’ve just completed our fifth season in Grand Rapids and had another fantastic year continuing our playoff streak. We are deeply committed to our fans and love being part of the sports landscape in the community that we’ve called home since 2014. This team has been community-built and supported for 5 seasons, and we are looking forward to continuing the growth of the franchise here in West Michigan. We have no plans on relocating to Detroit, but continue to have great communication and a positive relationship with the Pistons organization. We are solely focused on our sixth season this upcoming fall, in partnership with the Detroit Pistons and the NBA.”

Nearly every other G-League team is geographically closer to its NBA affiliate than the Drive is to Detroit.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.