NBA: Detroit Pistons to co-share new home with the Detroit Red Wings

New York (AFP) - National Basketball Association (NBA) club owners unanimously voted on Thursday to approve the Detroit Pistons' home court move from suburban Auburn Hills to a new downtown arena they will share with the National Hockey League's Detroit Red Wings.

A new US$863 million (S$1.1 billion) facility, the Little Caesars Arena, will mark the team's return to Detroit's downtown area.

The Pistons spent 29 seasons in The Palace of Auburn Hills, notably the site of the 2004 "Malice in the Palace" brawl that broke out in the final seconds of a 92-87 Indiana Pacers victory.

What began as a fight between several players escalated after a spectator threw a drink on then Pacers forward Ron Artest, who charged into the stands after the assailant to spark a wild melee involving fans and players in the stands and on the court.

Nine players were suspended for a combined 146 games as a result of the incident, with Artest slapped with an 86-game ban that ruled him out of the remainder of the season.

Five fans faced criminal charges and were banned for life from Pistons home games.

The Pistons agreed to the move to the new arena last November.

NBA owners recently concluded analysing the Pistons' new 35-year lease deal at the Little Caesars Arena.