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Detroit Pistons Games: Fan Guide to Little Caesars Arena

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  • Celine Jerly
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Detroit’s Bad Boys may not have had a good season in recent years, but watching them play live is a treat for every fan. Want to catch your team in action on the home court this season? Here’s a quick catch-up for Detroit Pistons fans headed to Little Caesars Arena.  

The Pistons became the Detroit Pistons in 1957, but they have been playing basketball since 1937! They were founded as a semi-professional team in Fort Wayne, representing Zollner Corporation. The company manufactured pistons for automobiles and locomotive engines. So, that’s where the name comes from – Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons.  

Detroit Pistons Standings | Detroit Pistons News 

Save more on Detroit Pistons parking near Little Caesars Arena

Pistons in Professional Leagues 

In 1941, the Pistons turned pro by joining the NBL and won two league championships. They also won the World Professional Basketball Tournament thrice – back-to-back from 1944 to 1946.  

The team dropped “Zollner” from their name in 1948 and joined BAA as the Fort Wayne Pistons. And finally, when the BAA and NBL merged in 1949 to form NBA, the Pistons moved to the new league’s Eastern Conference Central Division.  

The franchise relocated to Detroit in 1957 but was still under Fred Zollner’s ownership. In their first season as the Detroit Pistons, George Yardley set the record for single-season scoring in NBA by becoming the first player to score 2000 points.  

As of 2022, Detroit Pistons have won three NBA championships (1989, 1999, and 2004). The franchise also has five conference titles and 11 division titles. However, the Pistons seem to have lost the shine and haven’t made it to playoffs recently. They finished with the second-worst record in league history (20-52) in the 2020-21 season. Last season wasn’t any better – 23-59 (.280), with a finish at the bottom of the division.  

Why is the Pistons’ mascot a horse? 

The Detroit Pistons mascot, Hooper, is a horse wearing the team’s jersey. The horse represents the horsepower the Pistons – the team and their namesake automotive part – produce. The Pistons were founded and owned by Fred Zollner of Zollner Corporation. The company produced pistons for locomotive engines and vehicles.  


Hooper replaced Sir Slam A Lot as the Detroit Pistons’ mascot on November 1, 1996. 

Who has owned the Pistons? 

Fred Zollner founded the team in 1937 as Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons. After they became Detroit Pistons, Zollner sold the NBA franchise to Bill Davidson in late 1974. Davidson was a glass magnate who also owned several professional teams as the chairman of Palace Sports and Entertainment. He was the Detroit Pistons’ principal owner until he died in 2009.  

In 2011, Davidson’s widow – Karen Davidson – sold the Palace Sports and Entertainment to Platinum Equity founder Tom Gores. He had a 51% stake in the company, while Platinum held 49%. The deal included the Pistons’ home arena, The Palace of Auburn Hills. In 2015, Gores became the sole owner of the franchise.  

Who are the all-time best Detroit Pistons players? 

Detroit Pistons’ all-time leaders are: 

  • Isiah Thomas – Total Points (18822) 
  • Isiah Thomas – Total Assists (9061) 
  • Bill Laimbeer – Total Rebounds (9430) 
  • Ben Wallace – Total Blocks (1486) 
  • Isiah Thomas – Total Steals (1861) 

Joe Dumars (16401) and Bob Lanier (15488) follow Isiah Thomas in total all-time scores. Dumars (1989) and Thomas (1990), along with Chauncey Billups (2004) are the Pistons’ NBA Finals MVPs.  

Detroit Pistons Roster | Detroit Pistons Stats 


Where do Detroit Pistons play their home games? 

Since 2017, the Detroit Pistons have played their home games at Little Caesars Arena in Midtown Detroit. Before that, the Pistons called at least six arenas their home in their 80-year-long professional history.  

Olympia Stadium (1957 – 1961) 

North Side High School Gym (1948 – 1952) and Allen County War Memorial Coliseum (1952–1957) were two of the earliest venues to host the Pistons’ home games in Fort Wayne. When they moved to Detroit, Olympia Stadium became the renamed NBA franchise’s home until 1961. The University of Detroit’s Memorial Building was used as an alternate venue during this period to avoid scheduling conflicts. Olympia Stadium was also the home of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings.  

Cobo Arena (1961–1978) 

After four seasons at the Red Wings’ Olympia stadium, Detroit Pistons moved into the Cobo Arena before their 1961-62 NBA season. In downtown Detroit, the arena was at Huntington Place (formerly Cobo Hall, Cobo Center, and TCF Center). It is now a convention center, best known for the annual North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). In 2015, new meeting spaces, a ballroom, and a glass atrium replaced the arena. 

Pontiac Silverdome (1978–1988) 

Former Pistons’ owner, Bill Davidson, moved his team to Pontiac – a suburb 20 miles northwest of Detroit – in 1978. The 82K-seater Pontiac Silverdome was the home of the NFL’s Detroit Lions from 1975 – 2001. After Ford Field opened, the Silverdome fell into a period of decline without funds for maintenance. It reopened in 2010 for concerts, soccer, and other events. However, the owners eventually demolished the aging venue in 2017.  

The Palace of Auburn Hills (1988–2017) 

Davidson helmed the construction of the Palace, and he fully financed it with $90 million in private funds. The Detroit Pistons moved in before the 1988-89 season and won all three of their NBA championships at this former home arena. The infamous “Malice at the Palace brawl between the Pistons and Pacers took place at this arena.  

Little Caesars Arena (2017–present) 

Detroit Pistons have played home games in suburban Oakland – north of Detroit – since the 1978-79 season. The 39-year stay ended in 2017 when they moved to the Little Caesars Arena. The Pistons were the last NBA franchise to leave a suburban home arena.  


The Pistons’ move to Midtown made Detroit the only US city with its four major league teams playing their home games downtown. The multi-purpose arena opened on 5 September 2017 to replace Detroit Red Wings’ Joe Louis Arena and the Detroit Pistons The Palace of Auburn Hills. Downtown Development Authority owns the arena, but 313 Presents LLC (a joint venture of Olympia Entertainment and Palace Sports & Entertainment) operates it. 

The Pistons share Little Caesars Arena with NHL’s Detroit Red Wings; it has a seating capacity of 20,332 for basketball and 19,515 for ice hockey. The arena is a bowl with eight levels; its floor is 40 feet below the street level. It has 62 executive suites and a suspended gondola seating level above the stands. The exterior façade of the bowl can project videos.  

See: NBA Arenas Ranked: What Are the Best and Biggest Stadiums in the NBA?

Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena 

Detroit Pistons’ inaugural (preseason) game at the Little Caesars Arena was a 108-106 loss against Charlotte Hornets on October 4, 2017. In the regular season home opener, a couple of weeks later, they beat the Hornets 102-90. However, they finished the season with a 39-43 record and missed the playoffs.  

The Pistons fared better in the next season (2018-19) and cliched a playoff spot as the eighth seed in the conference. However, the Milwaukee Bucks swept four games in their first round of 2019 playoffs. It was an NBA record for the most consecutive playoff losses (14). After NBA suspended the 2019-20 season due to the pandemic, the Pistons’ chances of a revival ended with a 20-46 record.  

The 2020-21 season was a new low for the Detroit Pistons – they finished with the second-worst record in NBA history (20-52) and missed the playoffs again. The Pistons missed the playoffs for the third time in a row last season and finished with 23-59.

When is the next game on Detroit Pistons’ schedule? 

Detroit Pistons’ 2022-23 NBA regular season home opener against Orlando Magic is on October 19. The next game against New York Knicks is at Madison Square Garden on October 21, 2022. The Pistons will return home on October 26 for the Week 2 games against Atlanta Hawks at Little Caesars Arena. 2022 champions – Golden State Warriors – are visiting Detroit on October 30, 2022.  

Check out the full schedule for upcoming Detroit Pistons games here. 

See Detroit Pistons’ scores from recent games here. 

NBA 2022-23 Full Schedule – Read More Here

Where can I buy Detroit Pistons tickets? 

It’s not too late – all NBA games are now accessible via mobile ticketing only. You can buy Pistons single-game tickets here and receive a digital pass on your phone. It is easier to manage with the Pistons’ official app. However, you may save your tickets on the phone to avoid delays at the Little Caesars Arena entrance due to network issues.  

Where is Little Caesars Arena? 

Little Caesars Arena is a part of the midtown Detroit sports and entertainment district called The District Detroit. It’s a mixed-use neighborhood with several venues, retail outlets, and residential complexes.  

The District Detroit is north of downtown, around Cass Corridor. Comerica Park and Ford Field are also nearby. Woodward Avenue, West Grand Boulevard, John C. Lodge Freeway, and the Fisher Freeway bounds the Cass Corridor.  

How to reach the Pistons’ game at Little Caesars Arena

You can drive to the game; parking won’t be a problem if you pre-book it. However, try to get there early to avoid traffic delays due to road closures and other restrictions. Also, remember that Little Caesars Arena is within a larger complex with several sporting and entertainment venues. Therefore, simultaneous events could cause delays on the way and at parking lots.  

Use the map below to find your route to Detroit Pistons games at Little Caesars Arena: 

Public Transit Options 

Suppose you are arriving from another city or want to leave the car at a cheaper Detroit garage away from the arena. In that case, you can use these convenient public transit facilities on gameday.  


The QLINE is a 6.6-mile circular streetcar service connecting Downtown to Midtown and North End to New Center, with 12 stops on Woodward Avenue. Sproat Street/Adelaide Street is the closest stop for Detroit Pistons games at Little Caesars Arena.  

Find out more about the route and fare here.  


FAST is a high-frequency bus service connecting Detroit and its suburbs. The Woodward, Michigan, and Gratiot routes operate every 15-20 minutes. Woodward and Gratiot services are from 5 am to 1 am, while the Michigan service runs from 5 am to 12 am.  

Check out the FAST route to Little Caesars Arena here. 

People Mover 

You can use the People Mover shuttle in downtown Detroit. Grand Circus Park station is closest to Little Caesars Arena. 


The designated drop-off/pick-up area for ridesharing is on the I-75 service road near Little Caesars Arena, between Woodward Avenue and Park Street.  

How far is Detroit Airport from Little Caesars Arena?

20 minutes by car, via I-94 W; Little Caesars Arena is less than 20 miles from the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW). The alternative route from the Pistons arena to the Detroit Airport is turning into I-75 from the I-94 at Dearborn. It’s a longer drive, at least by 5 minutes, according to traffic conditions.

How early can you get into a Pistons game? 

Generally, Little Caesars Arena doors open 1.5 hours before tipoff if not announced otherwise. Check your digital tickets on the official app for updated details.  

Little Caesars Arena has four main entrance gates: 

  • Huntington Entry NW on Sproat Street, west of Woodward Avenue 
  • Chevrolet Entry NE on Woodward and Sproat 
  • Comerica Entry SE on Woodward and Henry Street 
  • Meijer Entry SW on Henry and Park Street.  

How much does it cost to park at Little Caesars Arena? 

Pre-paid parking at the Little Caesars Arena Garage, UWM Garage, and Temple West Garage costs $40/game. Limited day-of-game parking is available at these parking facilities closest to the arena. In addition, you’ll find $8 Detroit Pistons parking in the neighborhood, but it will be a few blocks away.  

Cass Avenue lots charge around $35 for Detroit Pistons games, while the Comerica Garage rate is $25. Further away from Little Caesars Arena, the facilities like the 127 W. Fisher Lot have Pistons’ parking rates at $20. You can also park at the McLaren Garage, 2955 Cass Lot, or 510 Fisher Lot for $15.  

Check out the Detroit Pistons parking map for home games at Little Caesars Arena here. 

Looking for cheaper parking? How about $18 – $20 for an all-day (up to 24 hours) parking spot? Find the best deals here. 

Get cheap parking near Little Caesars Arena for Detroit Pistons games

Detroit Pistons Parking Tips – Home Games 

  • Arrive early to avoid delays due to road closures and ongoing construction in the District Detroit. 
  • Prepaid parking near Little Caesars Arena is the best option. The arena is a busy neighborhood with several venues and other attractions that draw visitors around the year. Demand for parking space is always high. You can use apps like Way to find the cheapest deals nearby. 
  • Most Olympia Development parking lots accept only credit cards 
  • From the Little Caesars Arena Garage, you can enter Blue Cross Blue Shield Suite Lounge via Skybridge. 
  • The Little Caesars Arena Garage, United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) Garage, and Temple West Garage are the closest to the Detroit Pistons arena. 
  • ADA/Accessible parking spaces are available at all Olympia Development parking lots near Little Caesars Arena. Additionally, accessible spots are reserved in the 2721 Cass Ave. lot on event days and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You’ll have to pay the parking rate and present a valid ADA license plate or hang tag. 
  • The designated ADA/Accessible pick-up/drop-off area near Little Caesars Arena is on West Fisher Service Drive, near the Henry West Garage.  
  • You’ll find cheaper parking rates downtown on gamedays at Little Caesars Arena. Parking away from the District Detroit will also save time as it is easier to access your car in less busy garages and lots.

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