See how the roof structure and columns of the former Auburn Hills Palace entertainment arena implode on July 11, 2020. Wochit
It was the site of six championships between the Detroit Pistons and the Shock, thousands of basketball games of the regular season, hundreds of playoff games and some of the best moments in Detroit sports history.
It hosted some of the most notable shows in the state, with performances by Michael Jackson, Sting, Madonna, Prince and dozens of others.
And from Saturday, it is no longer.
The Auburn Hills Palace was imploded on Saturday morning, ending a years-long closing process that began when the Pistons moved downtown Detroit to Little Caesars Arena in 2017.
Spectators gathered across the street to watch the implosion, which occurred at 8 am Explosives brought down what remained of the 32-year-old arena, which consisted of tall columns and a roof after months of demolition that began in March, in a matter of seconds.
The arid arena collapsed in a cloud of dust and attracted applause and shock reactions from onlookers.
It is unclear what the site will be used for, but Livonia-based developer Schostak Brothers & Co., who bought the land from Pistons owner Tom Gores last summer, is planning to rebuild the nearly 100-acre property as a mixed-use office park.
“We are very excited about this day,” said William Hall, project manager at Schostak Brothers & Co .. “This is the implosion of the roof and column structure today. It opens up very exciting future development for the surrounding property. This property will be rebuilt and will bring hundreds of jobs. Very exciting opportunities for southeastern Michigan, as well as the city of Auburn Hills. ”
The Palace was opened in August 1988 with great fanfare. The then owner of Pistons, Bill Davidson, privately financed the $ 90 million arena, about $ 200 million in today’s dollars.
Thanks to an early design that features 180 luxury suites and over $ 100 million in renovations over the years, the Palace has been well maintained for the past few days. The Pistons played their last game on April 10, 2017, and the final event held there was a Bob Seger show on September 23, 2017.
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The Pistons maintained their offices at the Palace and continued to use it as a training facility until last October, when the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center opened in the city center.
Homrich, a demolition contractor, was in charge of the demolition and implosion. Scott Homrich, the company’s CEO, estimated that it will take a few months of cleaning before the process is completely completed.
“There is a lot of engineering behind this,” he said. “Basically, explosives are helping gravity along the way. This is pretty straightforward. You will start the explosives from one side of the building and they will take about five seconds from side to side. And after those five seconds are up, there will be a three-second pause, and then the charges will be fired and start back and forth. There were several checks on the different wirings and the process to ensure that everything goes smoothly today. ”
Everything went according to plan, and he expressed optimism that the new development on the site will serve the Auburn Hills community well.
“The development here will be incredible for the area,” he said. “It is good to see abandoned things not being abandoned. They did a good job of using it during their lifetime, moving on and getting something more here that brings good tax revenue, people’s jobs and so on. They did a good job at that.
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