AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — One of Michigan’s most beloved sports and entertainment venues was turned into rubble on Saturday with a series of controlled explosions.
The shell and roof of the Palace of Auburn Hills, which was home to three championship Detroit Pistons teams and three Detroit Shock teams and played host to some of the world’s biggest musical acts during its nearly 30-year run, crumbled to the ground following a series explosive pops. The rest of the arena had already been removed.
The Palace, which opened in 1988, held more than 22,000 people for NBA games and up to 23,000 for concerts and other shows, according to nba.com.
After the Pistons relocated in 2017 to downtown Detroit, the arena about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of the city continued to host concerts and music events, the last in September 2017 by rocker Bob Seger.
It also became the second suburban Detroit arena that found little real use after its main sports tenant took its games back to the city.
The Detroit Lions played at the nearby Pontiac Silverdome from 1975-2001 before moving to Ford Field in Detroit. The Pistons also called the Silverdome home for a decade before The Palace opened.
The Silverdome was taken down with a partial implosion in 2017.
William Hall, a project manager for Schostak Brothers & Co., told the Oakland Press of Pontiac that the Palace site should be cleared of debris by the end of the year.
A new mixed-use development project is planned for the site.
“There have been some companies we’ve already talked to about possible development of the property,” Hall said. “I would say we’ve had conversations with at least half-a-dozen people. This property is very interesting and for a lot of businesses, its proximity is very attractive.”