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I'll go ahead and spoil a few things for you:
The Detroit Pistons have an awful environment with a mediocre product and arena. To rank this close to the top, they simply have to boast highly competitive prices, and that's what they do.
With the second-cheapest courtside seats and a $40.10 average ticket (plus $10 parking), the Pistons just don't make it all that expensive to come cheer on the team.
I might consider living at The Palace of Auburn Hills if I called Detroit home.
As any of my friends could tell you, I'm kind of addicted to sodas, so the fact that you can get 16 ounces of soft drink for an average price of $2.80 is a huge plus. No arena outside of San Antonio boasts a better price, and this is true for more than just soda.
Only the Denver Nuggets have better beer prices. Only four teams sell hats for less. No franchise can beat the $3 tag on an average hot dog, although the Phoenix Suns can match it.
Across the board, the Pistons just dominate this category. The gap between them and the No. 2 finisher was almost as large as the separation between No. 2 and No. 10.
From first to worst we go.
The Detroit crowd has suffered along with this team. Ever since the title-winning squads broke up, the Pistons have struggled to stay relevant, and there's been virtually no attendance. Given the huge nature of this stadium, it's especially apparent that it's filled with empty seats.
During the 2012-13 season, only 67 percent of the arena was filled up for the average home game, a mark worse than any other squad's. Until the fans care again, it's just not looking good.
The Palace is one of the oldest and most historic arenas still in action. Erected in 1988, it's the same age as Sleep Train Arena and the BMO Harris Bradley Center, but the Pistons have actually been successful in it.
In fact, only Madison Square Garden and Oracle Arena are older.
Additionally, it hosts a larger crowd than any other arena, filling up with 22,076 fans on the rare occasions that it does sell out. Those are the positives.
On the flip side, The Palace isn't aesthetically pleasing. Our panel's scores ranged from 67 to 72, and it checks in at No. 21 in the category. Without any renovations to give it a newer feel, that's not going to change.
No one is quite sure to make of the latest version of this historically successful franchise.
Will Josh Smith, Andre Drummond, Brandon Jennings and Greg Monroe immediately mesh? Are they talented enough to advance to the postseason during their first season in the same uniform?
It'll be close, but floor spacing and chemistry will be major concerns throughout the 2013-14 season. At the very least, this is a more appealing product than anything we've seen lately in the Motor City.