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The Palace of Auburn Hills, former home of the Detroit Pistons.

Oakland University wants to buy Detroit Pistons' former arena

Oct. 26, 2018
The university in Rochester, Mich., is a few miles away from The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Mich., is negotiating to buy The Palace of Auburn Hills, an arena that is the former home of the Detroit Pistons basketball team.

The Detroit News reports that if the purchase is completed, the university would use The Palace as an athletic facility. 

Its basketball teams now play their games on Oakland's campus at the O’rena, where the largest crowd has been just more than 4,000; the capacity at The Palace is more than 20,000.

The Palace is about five miles from the O'Rena.

It’s unclear how much Oakland is offering for the land in Auburn Hills, which would include a practice facility.  

The appeal for Oakland could be having a larger venue to host both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, in line with some comparable Division I teams. Calihan Hall, home of the University of Detroit, has a capacity of 8,295 and the University of Milwaukee’s Panther Arena is more than 8,900.

The Pistons moved to downtown Detroit to play at Little Caesars Arena at the start of the 2017-18 season. 

Platinum Equity bought the Pistons and the Palace, along with concert venues in the previous Palace Sports & Entertainment entity, for a reported $325 million in 2011.

The Palace opened in 1988 at a cost of $90 million. Prior to that, the Pistons played their home games at the Pontiac Silverdome.

When it was built, The Palace was regarded as one of the best sports and concert venues in the nation, with a wide array of luxury suites and amenities, which became a template for future complexes. 

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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