Right now, there isn't even a remote chance this team is going anywhere.
Ford Field just opened in 2002, the team playing in it is just a year removed from its first playoff appearance in more than a decade and Lions fans have been especially forgiving since the team went 0-16 in 2008. It takes a lot for them not to show up to a game.
"A lot" is pounding at the gates, however. The surrounding city declared bankruptcy last month. A full 40% of the city's street lights have been turned out. Roughly 120,000 of its buildings sit empty. Response times for 911 calls extend to nearly an hour, while fewer than 9% of crimes are ever solved.
What does that have to do with football? The Lions would argue not a whole lot. They actually left their former home, The Silverdome, vacant in Pontiac, Mich., to move back into the city. They're trying to generate some revenue eight days out of the year, bring folks into the city and give it something to rally around. Taking out an NFL team and the jobs that come with it to leave another empty building just isn't an option.
Yet. Bankruptcy wasn't supposed to be on the table for Detroit, either, but here it sits. The town's steady decline has taken everything else down with it. The Lions are to be commended for not giving up on Detroit, as are the Tigers and the Red Wings -- who just announced plans for a new downtown arena in June. Whether those teams can continue to prosper as the city around them collapses depends on whether Detroit's hit bottom or still has a way to go.