Michigan’s The Palace Is Set For Implosion This Weekend

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The Palace of Auburn Hills, the former home of the Detroit Pistons, will be brought down by a dynamite implosion at 8am on 7/11/20. Roads around the area will be closed for about a half hour during the demolition. An office space will eventually take over the area.

The sports and concert venue located a half hour north of Detroit opened in 1988. Former Pistons owner, the late Bill Davidson, decided that the Pontiac Silverdome was no longer suitable for his team in 1985 and he wanted to create a new complex of his own. The Auburn Hills spot was actually vacant land before Davidson began the initial construction in 1986.

Tom Gores bought the Pistons and The Palace in 2011. The Pistons moved to the Little Caesars Arena right in Detroit starting with the 2017-2018 NBA season. The Palace was closed down in late 2017 and Gores sold the land in June 2019.

The first concert at The Palace was Sting on 8/13/88 as part of his sublime “Nothing Like The Sun” tour. Pink Floyd followed a few nights later with two shows for their “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” tour.

Elton John did three nights in a row in October 1988 in support of his “Reg Strikes Back” album. He walked off stage in anger in the middle of the second show because a fight in the crowd distracted him from performing.

The Cure recorded their live album and concert film “Show” at the forum as part of their “Wish” tour in 1992. It was released on 9/13/93.

Michigan’s own Bob Seger was the final music act to perform there on 9/23/17.

The WWF began running house shows at the venue in the grand opening week, with WWF Champion Randy Savage beating Ted DiBiase by count out in the main event on 8/15/88. They held SummerSlam at the location in 1993.

During the “Monday Night Wars”, WCW started having their events at The Palace, while the WWF went back to doing shows at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena and Cobo Hall. It was the site of WCW’s “World War 3” in 1997 and 1998. Lex Luger won the WCW World Title from Hulk Hogan there in an unexpected surprise title change on an episode of WCW Monday Nitro on 8/4/97. (Hogan would win it back a few days later on the WCW Road Wild pay-per-view).

TNA held Slammiversary at the building in 2009.

The most infamous sports story to come out of The Palace happened in 2004. There was a bench-clearing brawl between the Pistons and the Indian Pacers players with less than a minute to go in a game. Just as things started to settle down, a fan threw a drink at the Pacers’ Ron Artest. Artest and other Pacers players rushed into the crowd to start fighting with the fans. The alteration was coined “The Malice At The Palace” by the press. It resulted in several players getting suspended and the offending fan getting banned from The Palace for life. Five of the Pacers, and a few fans, were also criminally charged with assault and battery in the incident.

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Shannon Walsh

Inspired by the late Michigan insider hotline host “Coach” Kurt Schneider and his “just the facts” style of reporting pro wrestling news and results from around the world.

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