This weekend will close out two building for Detroit sports teams. Joe Louis Arena is being replaced with Little Caesar’s Arena. Also, beginning next year the pistons will play games at the new Little Caesar’s Arena. It’s unfortunate neither the Palace of Auburn Hills nor Joe Louis Arena will see a playoff game in their final seasons.
It’s sad to see the Joe close, but it is time that the Red Wings got some new digs. The Palace of Aubrun Hills is still a great venue and just received some renovations not all that long ago (and hosted so many events). It’s sad, but understandable, that the Pistons leave Auburn Hills for Little Caesar’s Arena. The big winner here is Detroit. Having Pistons and Red Wings games downtown Detroit brings 82 nights each year filled with people in the downtown area. It’s a ghost town if there isn’t a Lions or Tigers game. In the winter months it seems desolate for a metropolis. There’s a lot of room for bars, restaurants, and many other stores to thrive now that traffic will be back in the area nearly year round.
So hopefully the move is a good thing for Detroit, Detroiters, the Pistons, and the Red Wings! At the beginning of this year there was a great tribute video made for the final season at Joe Louis Arena. I can’t do better than that video, but I was sad not to find such a video for the Palace of Auburn Hills, so I thought I would share my 3 favorite memories from the Palace of Auburn Hills.
— The Pistons winning a title their first year at the Palace. I was young, and just vaguely remember, but how fitting is it they win a title the first year in their new digs, check out the team tribute video here.
— The Malice at the Palace, how can this not be on the list. What’s more rare that a title… a brawl between fans and players that changes the way every sports team manages fan/player interaction. This is one of those moments that stand out to me. I remember where I was and who I was with when it happened. I am quite confident you can find a video for this one.
–Beating the superpower Lakers- Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Gary Payton, and Shaq…That’s four first ballot hall-of-famers on the same team. At one point I thought that would never happen again, until the NBA took a dive (thanks Lebron). The problem for that team was that they were all individuals…The Pistons were the ultimate team. I mean, Ben Wallace was their only all-star that year. Their defense suffocated the Lakers and they won the series in 5 games; winning the last three at the Palace of Auburn Hills! Check out a cool video about the team here.
It’s sad that the Palace will be demolished, but hopefully the move will have these two teams charged up and ready to get back to the playoffs next year! Go Detroit!