Pistons contemplate selling stadium name
By Austin Vicars
In all sports there is always a sense of tradition. Professional sporting teams are always trying to walk the thin line of evolving while maintaining the traditions set by their predecessors. Tom Gores, owner of the Detroit Pistons announced at the beginning of the new year that The Palace Of Auburn Hills is beginning to search for its first naming rights sponsor.
The sponsor would pay a large sum of money to have their name included on the name of the arena and would help pay for future renovations to the facility.
The Palace and Madison Square Garden in New York City are the only remaining NBA stadiums to not sport a sponsors name in their titles. This makes the Palace standout amongst all the other NBA stadiums, adding some unique, historical value to the 27-year-old stadium. With the Red Wings erecting a new stadium in 2017 to replace the aging Joe Louis Arena it is very possible that the Palace could be Detroit’s last standing unsponsored stadium in the near future.
The thought of having an outside source sponsor the Palace has been around for some years, but it was believed that the stadium needed renovations to keep it up to date with other NBA stadiums. The Pistons organization has spent 40 million dollars over the last few seasons on the Palace and now believes that it is the right time to sell off the naming rights to further expand his franchise.
“To stay competitive, that’s an important source of revenue,” said Palace Sports and Entertainment president and chief operating officer Dennis Mannion. “I didn’t think we were ready for that in the past. … The $40 million we’ve put into (the arena), it’s firing on all cylinders. We’re ready now.”
While the possibility seems slim that The Palace will retain it’s long time name, fans hope that the Palace will still be in the name of the arena. Something along the lines of “The Chrysler Palace of Auburn Hills” could be a welcomed addition for example.
Rumors speculate that Gores will attempt to have the sponsor be an in-state company, but the final decision of the naming rights will not be announced for some time; until Gores and his board of directors review the offers they have and will receive over the next year.