$2.5 Million Project Refurbished 60 Basketball Courts In 44 Parks Throughout The City Of Detroit
Sixth and Final Phase Included Additional Eight Court Renovations in Eight City Parks
DETROIT– September 20, 2023 – Tom Gores and the Detroit Pistons, in partnership with the City of Detroit Parks and Recreation Department, announced today the completion of the final phase of the organization’s six-year, $2.5 million basketball court renovation and refurbishment project in parks throughout the city.
The 60-court program was one of several commitments the Pistons made in connection with the club’s return downtown in 2017. The final court was unveiled earlier today during a press event at Howarth Park. In addition to fulfilling the original commitment to resurface 60 basketball courts, the Pistons went a step further and created a yearly program to promote utilization of the newly renovated courts.
“This program is an example of how you can exceed expectations by inspiring people to work together,” said Gores. “Moving the Pistons downtown has been great for our franchise and for the city. We’ve created jobs, invested in the community and have helped serve as a catalyst for the redevelopment of New Center. The courts program is one of several ways we’re making sure the impact is felt beyond downtown in neighborhoods all around Detroit.”
Established in 2019, the Pistons Neighbors Program recently completed its fifth year providing free summer activities like sports, live music, dance, yoga and art in partnership with the City of Detroit’s Parks & Recreation Department, William Davidson Foundation, Ralph C. Wilson Foundation and Pistons’ Basketball For All partners United Wholesale Mortgage and Delta Dental. The program has been active in 16 parks and touched all seven city-council districts since its inception.
Mayor Mike Duggan applauded Gores for going above and beyond and commended the Pistons and the City of Detroit Parks and Recreation Department for completing the court refurbishments and for their efforts to increase basketball participation and promote further utilization of the parks.
"From the moment they decided to move back into the city, Tom Gores and the entire Pistons organization have been fully committed to being great community partners," said Mayor Duggan. "Not only did they embrace the idea of building community basketball court in neighborhoods, they said they would build 60 brand new courts across the city by the end of this year for children to enjoy, and today is the fulfillment of that promise."
Court refurbishments during the sixth and final phase this spring and summer included single basketball courts located at Optimist-Parkgrove Park, Syracuse-Hildale Park, Hawthorne Park, Glenfield-Lannett Park, Howarth Park, Lafayette-St. Aubin Park, Wingle Park and Schultz Park. The court refurbishments at each location included needed repairs to court surfaces and up-to-date rims, stanchions and basketball infrastructure. Additionally, each court was repainted with proper basketball court markings and beautified to increase the aesthetic value of each park. As part of the Pistons’ agreement, the City of Detroit oversees maintenance for all of the completed courts.
Delivering Community Benefits
The courts project was part of a community benefits agreement established in 2017 that included a 10-point plan to create job growth and brings millions of dollars of investment into Detroit neighborhoods.
Under that plan the Pistons organization delivered the following:
- Invested $2,500,000 over six years to renovate and refurbish more than 60 basketball courts in parks throughout the City of Detroit in partnership with the City of Detroit’s Recreation department.
- Complied with Detroit’s Executive Order 2016-1 on hiring residents and funding workforce training.
- Used commercially reasonable efforts to maximize post-construction employment opportunities with Pistons Sports & Entertainment for City Residents.
- Supported workforce development initiatives for City Residents by donating $100,000 to Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation.
- Partnered with the Mayor’s Office to provide mentorship opportunities for young City Residents.
- Participating in the Grow Detroit’s Young Talent summer jobs program.
- Hosting free youth basketball camps, clinics, and other events for City Residents to promote youth basketball and youth enrichment programs in the city.
- Providing 20,000 free tickets per regular season to Detroit youth and residents to attend NBA basketball games, in support of and in connection with community educational programs and initiatives.
In addition to the formal community benefits commitments, the Pistons move downtown has generated many other substantial benefits for the city and the surrounding region:
- The Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center in New Center opened in 2019 and has served as a vital community hub, hosting hundreds of local events that serve the public interest and attracted new retail investment to the neighborhood.
- Gores and Livonia-based developer Schostak Brothers formed a joint venture to redevelop the former Palace site and to find a solution that would be good for the community and make a positive economic impact.
- Gores and the Pistons expanded philanthropic partnerships with organizations like the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, the S.A.Y. Detroit Play Center at Lipke Park, City Year Detroit, Grow Detroit’s Young Talent, the Detroit Police Athletic League, Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Michigan, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Sphinx Program, Dave Bing’s BINGO Mentoring Program and Forgotten Harvest.
- The Pistons partnered with Wayne State University on a new $25 million, 70,000-square-foot basketball arena for the school’s men’s and women’s teams that also serves as the home of Piston’s NBA G League affiliate Motor City Cruise.
- In June 2022, the Tom Gores Family Foundation announced a $20 million commitment to fund a new 25,000-square foot multi-use community center and renovation of the Brennan pool house at Rouge Park. That project is underway and expected to be completed in 2025.
- In February, Gores and the Pistons, Henry Ford Health and Michigan State University announced a $2.5 billion mixed-use development that will include residential, affordable housing, commercial and retail components anchored by state-of-the-art hospital and medical research facilities.
Gores credited strong private-public partnerships and collaboration with a wide range of civic, corporate and charitable organizations with helping deliver results.
“When we moved downtown, we had an ambitious agenda for using the Pistons as a platform to bring people together to effect change,” added Gores. “We’ve worked hard to deliver on that promise and more, and then continue seeking new ways to be impactful.”