Palace Knockdown

The Palace of Auburn Hills has been a Michigan staple arena since it was built in 1988. For 29 years it has been home to the Detroit Pistons, countless concerts, and even the Utica Community Schools annual graduation ceremonies for all four of its high schools.
“A few years ago I got to watch my brother graduate,” senior Sydney Chapman said, “and ever since I’ve been so excited to walk across the same stage myself.”
Recently, news broke the Detroit Pistons would be moving to play in downtown Detroit, alongside the rest of Michigan’s professional sports teams. With this news came reports that the Palace would be knocked down, after the move, due to lack of incoming revenue once the team is gone.
“I’ve been going to the Palace since I was a little kid,” senior Emily Ludwa said, “so it’s going to be weird once it’s gone.”
This news has startled many in the community, who are now asking the question, where will graduation be held once the Palace is gone? So far only speculations have been made, but a definite decision is expected to be made soon.
“We have a challenge because we have such large high schools,” principal Tom Lietz said. “The Palace held so many people, so we could allow students to bring multiple guests.”
Despite Utica High’s small size, the other three UCS high schools are largely populated, making the Palace the ideal venue for an event as large as graduation.
With many surrounding large school districts not holding their graduation at the Palace, some feel it’s wise to draw inspiration from them.
“My friend attends Rochester Community Schools and they have their graduation at the Oakland University O’rena,” senior Clorissa Moua said. “That could be a good replacement.”
With a little over a year to figure out the new location, there will likely be an avid hunt for the perfect venue.