After several attempts to find a new use for the former home of the Detroit Lions, owner Triple Investment Group is moving ahead with a Pontiac Silverdome demolition plan.
The Silverdome hosted the NFL’s Lions between 1975 and 2001, the Detroit Pistons (NBA) between 1978 and 1988, and various concerts, a papal visit, pro and amateur soccer games, and NCAA bowl games, among other events. After the departure of the Lions, the city of Pontiac sought to find alternative uses for the Silverdome before officials decided to rid themselves of the asset, selling it in 2009 for $583,000 after a public auction.
But new Canadian real estate developer Andreas Apostolopoulos, CEO of Toronto-based Triple Properties let the stadium rot. The roof was purposely deflated and then heavily damaged damaged in a 2013 snow storm. With the roof collapsed and shredded, more deterioration ensued. Attempts to sell the property failed — the numbers never worked for a full restoration — Triple Investment Group then shifted attention to tearing down the facility to create a more suitable site for development on 127 acres. Demolition will begin next spring. From the Detroit Free Press:
“It is going to come down,” said Kristie King, a Southfield-based broker with CBRE, which is marketing the Silverdome property for its private owner, the Triple Investment Group. “We will probably start the demolition process in the spring.”
About a dozen potential buyers have toured the Silverdome since June, but the prohibitively high costs to renovating the stadium proved a major obstacle to striking a deal. The Silverdome’s inflatable roof, damaged in a 2013 winter storm, is now completely gone and its canvas shreds lie strewn across the ground and the stadium’s 80,300 seats.
An auction of reusable Silverdome features — the scoreboard, seats, wiring — yielded almost a half million dollars in proceeds earlier this year. Check out this video from late 2014: the Silverdome was basically closed without any cleanup, looking the same exact way it did on its final day of operations.