New downtown arena still can't help Detroit Pistons increase attendance


  • alisafarov / Shutterstock

It looks like a move downtown hasn’t helped the Detroit Pistons fill seats.

The Pistons currently rank dead last for the percentage of seats sold out of all 30 NBA teams, selling only 76 percent of seats at Little Caesars Arena. The team fared only a little better in the 2017-2018 season, ranking 29th and selling 82.9 percent of seats.

The figure follows the decision made late last year by LCA to replace all red seats with black ones, which noticeably brought attention to the emptiness of the stadium during events. The change came only about a year after the $863 million stadium opened.

In a social media survey conducted by Metro Times in 2017, readers shared their thoughts about factors that deter them from heading downtown. Among those reasons, readers cited the commute from the suburbs, poor team performance, as well as expensive ticket prices and refreshments.

Jessica D'Alfonso is a spring editorial intern at Metro Times.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.