Around 86 percent of food service outlets at The Palace of Auburn Hills, the former home of the Detroit Pistons, had at least one or more "high-level" health department violation in 2016 and 2017, according to a report posted Thursday by ESPN's Outside the Lines.
The percentage was the second-highest among 111 professional football, baseball, basketball and hockey facilities in North America, according to the Outside the Lines report, which indicated it reviewed 16,900 "routine" food-safety inspection reports from health departments in 2016 and 2017.
The Pistons moved to Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit, which they share with the Red Wings, after the 2016-17 season, though they still practice near The Palace while a Midtown practice facility is being constructed. It was reported in October that Oakland University was negotiating with Pistons owner Tom Gores' Platinum Equity to buy The Palace.
According to the Outside the Lines report, The Palace trailed only the Hornets' Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C., (92 percent) in highest percentage of food service outlets where inspectors found at least one or more high-level violation which, according to the report, is "one that poses a potential threat for foodborne illness."
High-level violations were discovered at 31 of 36 outlets that were inspected at The Palace, according to the ESPN report, including:
►A gallon of milk that was past the expiration date and chemicals that were stored next to bar syrups during a June 2016 inspection;
►copper-lined cups that were sued to serve drinks at a bar in December 2016;
►and employees working without hair nets in a mini-kitchen in June 2017.
Among other facilities in Metro Detroit from 2016 and 2017, Joe Louis Arena — which has since closed — was 77th in lowest percentage (50 percent) of outlets where high-level violations were discovered, the Tigers' Comerica Park was 61st (40.38 percent), Little Caesars Arena was 50th (31.71 percent), and the Lions' Ford Field was 32nd (20.43 percent).
Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., home to the NBA's Golden State Warriors, had the lowest percentage, at 1.12 percent.