Palace of Aurburn Hills Arena

Palace of Auburn Hills – Aurburn Hills, Michigan
Former home of the Detroit Pistons

The Palace of Auburn Hills sports arena opened its doors on August 13, 1988 and was home of the Detroit Pistons basketball team for over 30 years. It was a state-of-the-art facility with a total capacity of 22,076, making it the second largest arena in the NBA. In 2017, the Palace closed its doors when the decision was made by the Owner to move the Detroit Pistons to a new arena in downtown Detroit. Two years later, the Palace was sold to a joint venture that was comprised of Gores and the Schostak Brothers & Co. and plans for demolition via implosion were underway.


Several contractors approached CDI during the bid period concerning explosives felling of all or a portion of the structure to provide a more efficient and safer demolition operation as compared to conventional/mechanical demolition methods. It also minimized the effects of noise, dust, debris and various demolition hazards to the general public and businesses that are surrounding the project site.
Schostak Brothers & Co. awarded the demolition contract to Homrich Wrecking, Inc. (Homrich) of Carleton, Michigan. Following award, Homrich decided to pre-demolish much of the structure conventionally but determined that conventional demolition of the steel roof truss system via mechanical means posed unacceptable safety risks to its workers and equipment. Homrich re-contacted CDI to discuss explosives demolition of the roof structure and decided to proceed with that method.


CDI provided drillers and specialty drilling equipment to drill a total of 300 holes into the 22, 4’ diameter reinforced concrete columns left to support the steel roof truss structure. An additional 82 holes were drilled into smaller concrete columns left in place to support steel columns left, at the request of Homrich’s structural engineer, to provide wind load stability to the clear span structure up until the implosion.


CDI loaded a total of 730 lb of explosives into the structure and installed the non-electric initiation system in just two (2) days. The implosion was carried out safely and successfully at 8:00 AM on Saturday, July 11, 2020, lowering the balance of the Palace Arena to grade, where it will be processed and removed by Homrich as they complete their scope of work at the site.

Click HERE to watch The Palace of Auburn Hills implosion.