Darren A. Nichols of the Detroit News reports:

Detroit officials say they’re hopeful the Detroit Pistons will relocate to downtown following the sale of the franchise to pizza and sports mogul Mike Ilitch.“We continue to be excited about the possibility of the Detroit Pistons returning to Detroit, which is nationally recognized as a destination for professional sports,” Karen Dumas, a spokeswoman for Mayor Dave Bing, said in a released statement. “The deal is not done, but we remain optimistic.”

Crain’s Detroit Business and other media outlets today are reporting that Ilitch is in negotiations to buy the Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment Inc.

Ilitch, who already owns the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers and Little Caesars Pizza, could work out the deal with Pistons ownership in the next 30 days, according to the reports.

Talk about the team on the Detroit Pistons forum.