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Courtesy of Palace Sports & Entertainment The news for the Detroit Pistons lately has been a mixture of the terrible — star Brandon Jennings is out for the year — and encouraging — the team has increased in value by 80 percent over the past 12 months.The team is the beneficiary of a tidal wave increases in the value of sports teams, according to Forbes, which has issued such estimates annually since 1998.In Detroit’s case, the team is worth $810 million, up from $450 million a year ago, according to Forbes’ National Basketball Association estimates issued this month.The $810 million estimate ranks 23rd in the 30-team NBA. Topping the list are the Los Angeles Lakers at $2.6 billion, with the New York Knicks at $2.5 billion.The least valuable franchise is the Milwaukee Bucks at $600 million.Fueling the surge in value is a combination of a new $24 billion television contract, a nearly six-year bull market in equities creating tremendous wealth, and cheap credit, Forbes said.The average NBA team is now worth $1.1 billion.Sales prices and valuations rarely turn out to be the same figure. Forbes relies on known data and best guesses to calculate its values.In other words, the Pistons really are worth what someone will pay for them.The last time they changed hands thealpineapartment , in 2011, Forbes valued the team at $360 million.The Pistons were sold by Karen Davidson, widow of longtime owner William Davidson, for $325 million to Tom Gores, a private equity billionaire. That deal included the team, the debt-free Palace of Auburn Hills, DTE Energy Music Theatre and the contract to manage Meadow Brook Music Festival for Oakland University.Crain’s had been told the initial asking price was $500 million.The evidence of new boom times in the NBA is in the sale price of teams: Detroit native and former Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer last year paid $2 billion for the Los Angeles Clippers, and the for-sale Brooklyn Nets are predicted to sell for at least that much.Improving financials Tom Gores That’s a change in the financial situation for the league. In 2011, the NBA asserted that 22 of the 30 teams were losing money.The influx of broadcast rights money is at the core of the increase in value estimates. The NBA’s new nine-year television deals with ESPN and TNT, which kick in for the 2016-17 season, are worth $2.66 billion.The current TV contracts are worth $930 million annually.That translates, before taxes and other accounting procedures replica handbags , into more than $57 million per team in shared revenue.The Pistons’ management last year said the team is profitable, and combined 2013 revenue for the team and entertainment venues was $152 million.Forbes’ recent estimates said the Pistons last year had $17.6 million in operating income on $144 million in revenue. The year prior, those numbers were $10.3 million in operating income on revenue of $139 millionForbes defines operating income as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.The team’s value largely matters only if Gores were interested in selling the team, something he has said he has no plans to do. But as a deal-maker, it’s something that always is a possibility.In the short term, the Pistons have struggled.A thirteen-game losing streak fueled a 5-23 start to the season. But once management decided to release Josh Smith, Detroit peeled off seven straight victories. The Pistons have won 12 of their last 17 games and currently have a record of 17-28.The mediocrity has been evident in Detroit’s attendance: Through 41 games, the Pistons are 28th in the NBA at 14,138 per game.Detroit hasn’t had a winning season since 2007-08 and hasn’t made the playoffs since being swept in the first round by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008-09. That ended a run of eight straight seasons in the playoffs, and attendance went from among the best in the NBA to among the worst — triggering the revenue hemorrhaging that the team has slowly began to stanch.Losing Jennings won’t help in the short term.He ruptured his left Achilles tendon in Sunday’s 101-86 loss in Milwaukee, and he’ll be out of the rest of the season. Jennings averaged 15.4 points, 6.6 assists and 1.1 steals in 28.6 minutes per game over 41 games this season.His 632 points are second-most for the Pistons after Greg Monroe’s 650.Jennings, 25, is on a three-year, $24 million deal that pays him $8 million this season. He’s a free agent after the 2015-16 season.In more than once sense, the Pistons have been in a rebuilding mode since Gores bought the team.Stan Van Gundy was given a five-year, $35 million deal in May to coach and run the front office — the third head coach under Gores. In terms of running the organization, Van Gundy effectively replaced ex-Piston Joe Dumars, whose contract as president of basketball operations wasn’t renewed in April after 14 years.Palace makeoverConcurrent with the wholesale changes in basketball front office and coaching personnel and a revamp of the team’s entire business staff and strategy, Gores has poured money into the Palace itself to boost value.A massive new digital scoreboard and other visual equipment installed at last year capped off a three-year, $40 million capital improvement plan under Gores.The renovation included suites, restaurants, bathrooms, locker rooms, lounges, lighting, improved access for fans with disabilities, concourse improvements, better Wi-Fi, an upgraded mediawork room, a new ventilation air-handling system and digital menu boards.Former Pistons and Palace Sports owner Bill Davidson, whose death in 2009 led to the team’s sale, built The Palace in 1988 for $90 million out of his own pocket. He spent an additional $112.5 million in subsequent renovations.In related NBA valuation news, Dan Gilbert’s Cleveland Cavaliers increased 78 percent in value to $915 million, good for 15th on the list. The Detroit real estate investor and Quicken Loans Inc. co-founder led an investment group that paid $375 million for the team in 2005.Bill Shea: (313) 446-1626, [email protected]. Twitter: @bill_shea19 Related LinksIs Dan Gilbert finally buying himself that elusive NBA championship?New Pistons scoreboard caps $40M in Palace improvements: It’s triple the high-def displayPalace Sports & Entertainment hires ex-Grizzlies exec as CFOB-ball for B-to-B Palace Sports launches business networking leagueWhich of Detroit’s 4 pro sports teams is most popular (and most active) on social media?Pistons rank 6th for NBA fan friendliness: $261 to take family of 4 to gameA juicy Detroit Pistons scoop from … The New Republic?Deal to name Palace could hit $100MArn Tellem hiring may mean Palace Sports aims for status as industry giantPistons sign corporate sponsorship deal with fantasy sports site FanDuelPistons increase to $850 million in value, Forbes says

Palace improvements, new TV money help Pistons’ value rise 80 percent in annual Forbes ranking

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