Two NBA owners are coming together as business partners in an attempt to lure Major League Soccer to Detroit.
Pistons owner Tom Gores and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert have been working on the project for several months, MLS said Tuesday.
According to reports, plans are to build a soccer stadium in downtown Detroit.
MLS commissioner Don Garber is supportive of their efforts to bring an expansion franchise to the Motor City.
In a joint statement, the two owners said, “Detroit is rising and we know firsthand the power of sports to lift a community and drive a civic renaissance.
Hey @TomGores, you know what’s great about sports? One moment you’re rivals & the next day, you can be rooting for the same team…
— Dan Gilbert (@cavsdan) April 26, 2016
“We are very excited about the prospect of bringing Major League Soccer to Detroit and building an ownership group that represents a cross-section of investors.”
The two owners tweeted at each other on Tuesday afternoon.
“Hey @TomGores, you know what’s great about sports? One moment you’re rivals & the next day, you can be rooting for the same team… ” Gilbert said, referring to the Cavaliers recently eliminating the Pistons from the NBA playoffs in the first round.
Gores replied, “You’re right, @cavsdan. Let’s “kick around” some ideas and try to make something happen.”
Garber will meet with the potential owners on Wednesday in Detroit.
“I’ve always believed a sports franchise is a community asset with the power to unite and inspire people,” Gores said. “I’m excited to partner with Dan and help in Detroit’s resurgence. Together we have all the tools we need to make a new team successful.”
MLS has continued to expand rapidly. The league currently has 20 teams and Garber has hopes to bring the total to 28.
Four cities — Atlanta, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Miami and Los Angeles — have already secured expansion franchises.
Garber said last week that St. Louis and Sacramento are the leading contenders to land teams in the future. Others on the list included Detroit, San Diego, San Antonio, Austin, Texas, and Cincinnati.