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 northwest of the city continued to host concerts and music events, the last in September 2017 by rocker Bob Seger.
The arena was also the site of Iowa State’s Elite 8 loss to Michigan State in 2000. The moment was recently voted “Iowa’s Greatest Gut Punch” in WHO 13’s tournament to decide the most heartbreaking sports moment in state history.
The top-seeded Spartans pulled off a 23-5 run to beat the No. 2 seed Cyclones 75-64. Iowa State was leading by seven points with 5:49 remaining in the game and felt like a Final Four berth was imminent. Cyclones head coach Larry Eustachy was ejected down the stretch.
Iowa State finished the season 32-5 and was considered a national championship contender. Michigan State would go on to win the title.
Iowa's Greatest Gut Punch Champion is crowned…IOWA STATE'S 2000 NCAA ELITE 8 LOSS TO MICHIGAN STATE IS OUR WINNER! Congratulations Cyclones…We Think.
Thanks to all those who followed, participated and voted. All in good fun. @BlazingGloryIA. pic.twitter.com/9yLHTueNIG
— SoundOFF (@SoundOFF13) June 27, 2020
The Palace of Auburn Hills was also the site of the infamous “Malice at the Palace” brawl during a game between the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers.
A new mixed-use development project is planned for the site.