AUBURN HILLS (97.1 The Ticket) Been to the Palace of Auburn Hills lately? If not, the owners are hoping to lure you with a bevy of improvements meant to make the venue state of the art for sports and entertainment.
Palace Sports and Entertainment announced Wednesday the details of a capital improvement plan for The Palace, that was created to “enhance the building’s reputation as one of the top sports and entertainment venues in the country.”
New large-scale renovations will include modifying and remodeling the main concourse level that serves all guests. Club West – located above the West Atrium Entrance – will be completely overhauled along with other public gathering areas on the concourse.
A building-wide suite remodeling effort will begin its initial phase with 40 suites slated for renovation along with the 100-level suite concourse. Finally, 16 suites in 300-level suite area will be removed and replaced with the construction of a full-service open-air lounge.
This unique space will give individual game buyers the opportunity to enjoy food and beverage in an open-air atmosphere that delivers direct views of game action on the court below.
“The transformation of the West Atrium was well received last year, and we are continually looking for exciting ways to create value and provide unique entertainment opportunities for every fan attending a game, concert or family show,” said Dennis Mannion, CEO of Palace Sports & Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons.
“Our improvement plan is designed to elevate the experience for all fans by upgrading the guest facing areas and using an aesthetic approach that is consistent with the Palace brand.”
Detailed renovation and improvement plans include:
- Remodeling of the main concourse
- Remodeling of the 100-level suite concourse
- Renovation of Club West – located above the West Atrium entrance
- Renovation of 40 suites throughout the building
- The removal of 16 300-level suites and construction of a full-service open-air lounge
- Remodeling of the VIP/Administration entrance
- Continued updates to entrances at both the West and East Atrium
- Installation of a new air-handling system
- Updates to furnishings, lighting and sound systems in all Palace hospitality areas
- Installation of fan-friendly WiFi capabilities
- Installation of concourse digital menu boards
Palace Sports & Entertainment will work in conjunction with Rossetti Architects on all design elements for the project and International Facilities Group, LLC will provide project management consultation. Frank Rewold & Son, Inc. will execute the construction aspects, most of which are projected to be completed by the beginning of the 2012-13 NBA season.
Estimated costs for the improvement plan are expected to land in the range of $13-15 million and will be funded by PS&E. Events currently booked at The Palace throughout the summer months will commence as scheduled with minimal disruption to the overall fan experience.
The improvement plan builds upon last year’s renovations of the event level that included an updated West Atrium entrance, expanded Pistons locker room with new training room areas and player lounge, newly developed entertainment complex and locker room areas, a refreshed media work room and installation of an in-arena theatrical lighting system.
Additionally, the building’s second floor was remodeled and renovated to provide greater collaboration and efficiency throughout the company’s communications, marketing and programming and production divisions. In the coming season, work area renovations will continue with the development of a new revenue center that will unify the organization’s ticketing and partnership sales force.
Since its opening in November 1988, the privately financed facility has maintained its position as a top arena with more than $117.5 million in upgrades and venue renovations. The current improvement plan will be the building’s largest enhancement project since 2006 when the $30 millon-dollar, 65,000 square-foot Comcast Pavilion was completed.
The Palace has been voted Arena of the Year eight times by Performance magazine, twice by Pollstar magazine and is listed annually among North America’s top-grossing arenas.