Ilitch to purchase Pistons?

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 2:55 PM ET

DETROIT -- Detroit sports magnate and pizza king Mike Ilitch is reportedly the front-runner for the sale of the Pistons.

Ilitch already owns Major League Baseball's Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League, as well as the Little Caesars pizza chain.

The Detroit Free Press on Tuesday cited a source close to the Pistons as saying the team has begun negotiations with Ilitch and that a deal could be completed within the next 30 days.

In August the Free Press reported that Ilitch was set to inform Pistons owner Karen Davidson of his intention to make a formal bid for the franchise. Davidson had previously acknowledged that buyers were being courted and she told the newspaper recently that a deal was expected by the start of the NBA season in late October.

Davidson's late husband, Bill Davidson, died in March of 2009. He became the Pistons' majority owner in 1974.

Ilitch reportedly also has desires for a new downtown sports arena to house the Red Wings and, if the sale is successful, the Pistons.

The Pistons haven't played home games in the city of Detroit since leaving Cobo Arena for the Pontiac Silverdome in 1978. They moved to the Palace of Auburn Hills in 1988. The Red Wings have played at Joe Louis Arena since 1979.


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