AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – The game between the Detroit Pistons (search) and Indiana Pacers at The Palace was under way Friday evening after the start was delayed 90 minutes because of a bomb threat.
Auburn Hills Police Chief Doreen Olko said there was a threat of a bomb in the Pacers' locker room at The Palace at Auburn Hills (search). Olko said an investigation was ongoing, but the arena is safe. Olko called it "a very serious matter."
Fans were told of a delay, but not given a reason, shortly before the scheduled 8:10 p.m. EST start.
The contest already had drawn an increased police presence because it is the first time the Pacers visited The Palace since a Nov. 19 brawl, considered one of the worst in sports history.
Pre-game unfolded in typical fashion Friday until shortly before game time, when players left the court and did not return. The arena was already nearly full, and fans were not evacuated. The crowd cheered when the big overhead TV screens were tuned into the Michigan State-Duke NCAA tournament (search) game at about 8:30 p.m.
Fans booed immediately afterward, when Palace officials announced over a loudspeaker the game had been delayed "due to unforseen circumstances."
The Pistons had what they called "playoff-level security" in place at The Palace. That typically calls for about 20 police officers and about 25 percent more unarmed security personnel in the arena.
Auburn Hills police declined to say how many officers were in attendance. State police also had officers on the scene, including a canine unit that was at The Palace nearly three hours before game time.