The Palace of Auburn Hills
The Palace of Auburn Hills, or as the people of the MetroDetroit area or state of Michigan will call it "The Palace", is popularly known for being the home for the NBA team Detroit Pistons from 1988-2017. The Palace is also the arena that holds many famous concerts and other sporting events such as college events or Monster Trucks. Furthermore, the Palace was home to Detroit's only WNBA team, the Shock. They won three WNBA championships with the Palace as their home court. Being the only Detroit sporting teams that are outside the inner city of Detroit, that doesn't stop the people of Michigan to come from all over the state to support their favorite basketball teams. It may not have been the home of the famous "Bad Boys" in the 90s, but good years and bad years of the Pistons, The Palace will always be remembered in Detroit sports history.
Backstory and Context
The Palace of Auburn Hills is owned by Palace Sports and Entertainment. That company was founded by Bill Davidson and is owned by Tom Gores and Platinum Equity, yet comprised of: The Detroit Pistons NBA team, The Palace of Auburn Hills arena, DTE Energy Music Theatre that is located nearby in Clarkston, MI, and the Meadow Brook Music Festival located in Rochester, MI also nearby suburb. The Palace opened in 1988. Among one of the largest in NBA, the Palace cost around $90 million and was the first NBA arena that was actually entirely financed with private investor funds.
The Pistons are actually one of eight of the NBA franchises original teams that was formed in 1941. The Pistons did not start in Detroit, Michigan. The franchise was started in Fort Wayne, Indiana then finally in 1957 moved to Detroit, Michigan but not immediately to the Palace. The Pistons played at Olympia Stadium along with the Detroit Red Wings. The Detroit Pistons started in Detroit playing at various arenas but popularly known for being in the Cobo Arena and The Pontiac Silverdome before calling the Palace of Auburn Hills their home. Starting from that point, the team earned its place as one of the city's most beloved prized professional sport franchises.
The Palace of Auburn Hills is a large arena and sits on large piece of land in Pontiac, Michigan. The arena holds 22,076 people for basketball and the occaisional NCAA Hokcey game. The Palace was also home to many concerts, holding anywhere from 6,00-20,000 people, depending on the popularity of the performer.
In April 2011, Pollstar ranked The Palace of Auburn Hills, home of the Detroit Pistons NBA team, as the second highest selling arena in United States of America and the fourth in the entire world. The Palace of Auburn Hills is and will always be not only a place in Michigans heart but will be in the NBAs heart. There is nothing like the Palace of Auburn Hills. In recent years, the attendance for the basketball games have been low but the state and the league still cherishes The Pistons and its home of The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Palace opened for NBA action in 1988. The Pistons delivered a 94-85 victory against the Charlotte Hornets on their new floor. A couple months later, on June 6th, 1989, the Pistons won the NBA Championship in a sweep of the Lakers. A year later, Detroit won their second consecutive championship. Bill Laimbeer and his fellow "Bad Boys" were the engine behind both of Detroit's championships.
The Palace of Auburn Hills was not only home of the Detroit Pistons until 2017 but it was also home of Detroit's WNBA team, the Shock. Bill Laimbeer took over the worst franchise in the WNBA and predicted a 2003 Detroit championship. He made good on this promise and on September 16th, 2003, beat the Los Angeles Sparks 83-78 in front of 22,076 fans at The Palace. The Shock moved to Tulsa after the 2009 season and Detroit no longer is home to a WNBA team.
The Detroit Shock played games at The Palace from 1998 until their departure in 2009. Some of the WNBA's best players played for Detroit under the roof of The Palace.. Some of the most notable include: Swin Cash, Cheryl Ford, Plenette Pierson, Katie Smith, Sandy Brondello, Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Ruth Riley, and Ivory Latta.
In 2017, it was announced and approved that the Detroit Pistons would move back to the city of Detroit. They would play in the new arena built originally for the Detroit Red Wings (Little Caesars Arena). The Palace now lays vacant in its Auburn Hills location. It will be demolished in the fall of 2019 and turned into an office park.
www.palacenet.com/about-pse/history-info www.nba.com/pistons/history/thepalaceofauburnhills.html http://www.insidearenas.com/eastern/PalaceatAuburnHills.htm http://basketball.ballparks.com/NBA/DetroitPistons/ http://www.palacenet.com/venues-events/palace-of-auburn-hills
Monarrez, Carlos. “The Story of the Palace: Somehow, It Worked.” Detroit Free Press, Detroit Free Press, 16 Apr. 2017, www.freep.com/story/sports/nba/pistons/2017/04/10/palace-of-auburn-hills-history/100258662/.
Nba. “Palace at Auburn Hills.” InsideArenas.com, 24 Oct. 2019, www.insidearenas.com/eastern/PalaceatAuburnHills.htm.
T, Ryan. “College Hockey At The Palace.” Flickr, Yahoo!, 13 Dec. 2008, www.flickr.com/photos/canuckr/3104231554.