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Demolition of The Palace of Auburn Hills, former home of the Detroit Pistons and host to many blockbuster music concerts and much more, has begun. The Detroit News

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Auburn Hills — The castle walls are crumbling at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Demolition crews are tearing down the southwest side of the former home to the Detroit Pistons. The 80-buildable-acres site off Interstate 75 is being primed for 1 million square feet of mixed-use office and research and development space.

In June, the NBA franchise said it had sold the 22,000-seat arena to a joint venture between Pistons owner Tom Gores and Livonia-based development firm Schostak Brothers & Co. Neither the terms of the deal nor a timeline were disclosed at the time.

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Gores said in 2016 that the Pistons were returning to Detroit to play in the newly built Little Caesars Arena. In October, the team opened its headquarters and training center in the new Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center in the city's New Center neighborhood.

The team played its last game at the Palace in April 2017. The arena also was a popular venue for concerts, hosting performers such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, Taylor Swift and U2 in its 29-year stint. A Bob Seger concert in 2017 was the final public event at the venue.

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bnoble@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble

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