Despite the championship and strong attendance figures in Pittsburgh, the Pipers franchise left Pittsburgh after their 1968 ABA Championship and moved to Minnesota in 1968, becoming the Minnesota Pipers. Minnesota was left vacant when the Minnesota Muskies had trouble drawing people in the league’s first season and moved to Miami to become the Miami Floridians. The ABA league office was based in Minneapolis (home of league commissioner George Mikan), so the Pipers moved when a Minneapolis attorney named Bill Erickson bought a majority share of the team. As with the Muskies, their home arena was Bloomington’s Met Center. Despite making the playoffs (but losing in the first round to, coincidentally, the Miami Floridians), the Pipers’ attendance settings fared no better than the Muskies and they moved back to Pittsburgh after only one season. In Terry Pluto’s book on the ABA, Loose Balls, Pipers co-owner Gabe Rubin says he returned to the Steel City because he couldn’t think of anywhere else to go.
Despite the championship and strong attendance figures in Pittsburgh, the Pipers franchise left Pittsburgh after their 1968 ABA Championship and moved to Minnesota in 1968, becoming the Minnesota Pipers.
Pittsburgh – Minneapolis – Pittsburgh
1967 – 1972 / American Basketball Association
1970 – 1972 / Pittsburgh Condors
1969 – 1970 / Pittsburgh Pipers
1968 – 1969 / Minnesota Pipers
1967 – 1968 / Pittsburgh Pipers
Pipers – Unknown Nickname Origin.
ABA Championships 0
Who is the greatest Minnesota Pipers?
1967 – 1968, 1969 – 1973 / Pittsburgh Civic Arena
1968 – 1969 / Bloomington’s Met Center
1970 – 1972 / Metro Sports Haven Industries
1967 – 1969 / Gabe Rubin
1971 – 1972 / Jack McMahon and Mark Binstein
1970 – 1971 / Jack McMahon
1969 – 1970 / John Clark and Buddy Jeanette
1968 – 1969 / Jim Harding and Vern Mikkelsen
1967 – 1968 / Vince Cazzetta
*Blue is this team’s history