The Palace of Auburn Hills, the former home of the National Basketball Association’s Detroit Pistons, has been demolished to make way for a new mixed-use development.
The 22,000-seat venue in Auburn Hills, Michigan, has been largely vacant since the Pistons relocated to Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit in 2017.
It is the second former venue for the Pistons to have been torn down in recent years after the Pontiac Silverdome was demolished, also in 2017.
The Palace of Auburn Hills, in Detroit’s northern suburbs, was the the site of six championships between the Pistons and the Women’s National Basketball Association’s Detroit Shock.
The $90m arena opened in 1988, and brought the Pistons immediate success as they won back-to-back NBA titles in 1989 and 1990. The Pistons also won the championship in 2004.
Led by former Pistons center Bill Laimbeer, the Shock won three league titles at the venue in 2003, 2006, and 2008.
The multipurpose venue also held numerous music concerts, including performances by U2, Michael Jackson, Sting, Madonna, Prince, and many others. The final event held at the venue was a Bob Seger concert in September 2017.
More controversially, the venue was also the site of an infamous 2004 brawl between the Pistons and Indiana Pacers, which has been become known as “Malice at the Palace.” One of the ugliest and most controversial moments in NBA history, multiple players went into the stands to fight with fans amid the chaos.
In total, nine players were suspended without pay for a total of 146 games, costing them nearly $10m in salary. Pacers forward Ron Artest was suspended for 86 games for his role in the brawl, which was the longest in NBA history.
Meanwhile, John Green, the fan who sparked the incident by throwing a cup at Artest, served 30 days in jail and two years’ probation for a misdemeanor assault and battery conviction.
The incident also led to the banning of alcohol sales in the fourth quarter of games. In addition, the league ordered each team to place at least three security guards between players and fans.