We have all heard the saying “All good things must come to an end” sometimes it’s for the good and sometimes not. Just ask Lions fans.
Today I got a glimpse into what Pistons fans (as well as anyone who attends an event at The Palace) have in store for them now that Tom Gores and his team have remade The Palace.
Today the media was formally introduced to Dennis Mannion, President of The Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports and Entertainment. My first impression of Dennis is that he is a man that knows what he’s doing. Mannion has spent 29 years working in the four major professional sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL), including two years managing business operations for the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche from 1998 to 1999. Mannion most recently served as President of the Los Angeles Dodgers where he worked from 2007 to 2010. He also previously worked for the Baltimore Ravens from 1999 to 2007, and for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1982 to 1997. If you question his effectiveness as a Front Office Executive, I would direct you to look at the 1996 MLB All Star Game in Philadelphia and the 2000 NHL All Star Game in Denver (Colorado Avalanche), both events he was instrumental in bringing to the cities.
Not only does Mannion have a vision, he has brought in a team of new people and a new philosophy to the Company and organization.
- LUCINDA TREAT – Executive Vice President of Business Operations & Strategy Insideout Sports & Entertainment – Madison Square Garden- New England Sports Ventures – Boston Red Sox – Florida Marlins
- CHARLIE METZGER – Chief Marketing & Communications Officer
- KEN CATANELLA – Director of Basketball Operations
- HARLAN HENDRICKSON – Vice President of Lifestyle Marketing Denver Nuggets & Colorado Avalanche
- LAUREN MILLER – Director of Fan Lifestyles
- IGGY RODRIGUEZ -Director of Promotions
- DANIELLE WILLIAMS – Community Partnerships Manager
- HEATHER COLLART – Community Relations Manager
They really did stress Tom Gores vision of Coming Together.
At first glance, things looked different walking into the West Atrium of The Palace. Instead of the standard wall of photos, you’re now greeted with 3 large screen LED video displays of Pistons Players.
As Dennis spoke he explained that his team wanted to take The Palace to new levels. They are working on a new cohesive color scheme fitting for The Palace, which seems to have landed on silver and blue.
This whole revamp wasn’t just about the Pistons, it was about about everything that has to do with The Palace Sports and Entertainment.
The whole idea of this revamp was to help the fans enjoy their experience at The Palace, if they were going to a Pistons game or coming to the Palace for a concert.
This, of course, meant making the Pistons players happy. The more comfortable the team is, the greater chance you have of a cohesive, winning team. It starts with the door they walk into on game day. The new locker room door encased in silver with a blue neon glow is a very good start.
The entire locker room was revamped with each players personal space a little more personal.
- A new media wall to watch clips and videos game day along with one of the best in the biz Charles Klask to bring the team the stats they need to win.
- A few steps away…a new players lounge with a big screen TV for players to relax and unwind.
- Less of a drive, as the Pistons team plane now lands just a short drive from The Palace of Auburn Hills.
- A revamped training area right next to the locker room doesn’t hurt either.
- As for Pistons Fans….Come out to see the Pistons Opening Night and you’ll see things you’ve never seen before.
- A new court.
- New banners in the rafters.
- A new video presentation.
- New lighting.
- New giveaways, one for almost every home game.
- New theme nights (yes, there is a Star Wars Night FEB 10th).
- Tons of new Video Features.
- A new intro!
- A new (and I won’t spoil it) kick off to the season for the Season Opener.
- A new way of doing things.
- New Twitter video boards in The Palace come Feb 14th to interact via Twitter with fans at The Palace.
- A New Beginning.
We may not always want change, but it’s inevitable. With Tom Gores and Co. changing things for the better, and giving Pistons fans a push towards a social media, digitally friendly, fan based environment ….we all win.
I haven’t been this excited to go the the season opener since we won the championship in 2004.
To a new and prosperous beginning….that remembers the past.
Good things don’t always come to an end, sometimes they just move into a different direction.
I’ll see you Opening Night!
It seems like just yesterday that Pistons fans were celebrating a Championship. It doesn’t seem that long ago that Detroit had a starting five that were familiar, solid, loved and envied league wide. It really was just a short time ago that we continually got ready for a long playoff ride filled with joy and anguish.
There are highs and lows with every team, in every league, but as Pistons fans we have come to expect excellence and comfort.
Comfort in a style of gritty play, comfort with the one of our own running things, and comfort in an owner that we knew loved his team above all else.
Last night I sat in wonderment at the Palace of Auburn Hills as my team took on the Boston Celtics. This would normally be a huge game, even without the fact the Rasheed Wallace was returning to Detroit, in green for the first time. Instead the place was littered with empty seats and quite a few that were occupied, were donned in green.
I watched my ailing team, in heart and body, pull off a pretty inspiring win. A win that they not only dearly need for the sake of moral and pride. I watched a reborn Ben Wallace take charge on the defensive end and Rodney Stuckey do what he needed to do to lead his team to victory.
The highs of the big game come with bittersweet sadness as I watched Mrs. Davidson have a mini press conference at halftime in front of her very familiar courtside seat and announce that she’s looking for a buyer for the team.
It’s her team and she can do with it what she wishes. We as fans shouldn’t judge her, we just have to hope that she hands over the team to someone who loves it as much as Mr. D did.
I may be a bit sentimental, but I can still see him sitting in his seat with his beige windbreaker enjoying his team. I see him with a mini television in front of him watching his hockey team on their way to a Stanly Cup, while he was watching his Pistons win a championship. I can see him standing on court with Ben, Rip, Chauncey, Tay and Rasheed as they raised his banner in the rafters at the Palace.
I watched him embrace Isiah on court, when it was clear his health was failing at the All Time Pistons Ceremony.
One of my favorite memories is looking at his face in 2004 when they were presenting the team with the Larry O’Brien Trophy. He may not have been able to hold that beautiful gold piece of hardware over his head, but his team made sure he could.
And how can we forget his very “Detroit” styled parade speech.
He may not be with us anymore, but he will always be remembered. The Hall of Famer was a pioneer in professional sports and in love for his team. If the new ownership has one tenth of the love that Mr. D had for The Pistons, things will be just fine.