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Pontiac Silverdome Demolition Attempt Comes up Short

Pontiac Silverdome

The Pontiac Silverdome remained intact on Sunday, after an attempted implosion of a portion of the stadium came up short. 

On Sunday, an event was held for the implosion of a portion of the Silverdome, former home of the Detroit Lions. The initial plan was for part of the stadium to be imploded on Sunday, allowing demolition crews to proceed with a longer process to demolish the entire stadium. However, when the dust settled from the implosion attempt, the columns that support the Silverdome’s upper level remained in place.

Following the attempted implosion, demolition officials cited faulty wiring athe factor in why that portion of the Silverdome did not come down as planned. More from The Detroit Free Press:

Officials with the demolition contractor, Detroit-based Adamo Group, confirmed that the explosions failed to bring down the steel columns supporting the Silverdome’s upper level. The detonations — and anticipated collapse of the upper level — were to be the opening round for a year-long demolition project, which will mostly be done with hydraulic excavators.

Roughly 10% of the explosive charges did not detonate due to a wiring issue, said Rick Cuppetilli, executive vice president with Adamo. These unexploded charges were set up in eight key locations around the Silverdome. The precise cause of the wiring issue remained unclear early Sunday afternoon.

“There’s wires separated somewhere,” Cuppetilli said. “We’ve researched it, we haven’t found it yet, we’re going to continue research, but it’s not coming down today.”

Cuppetilli said the columns could be taken out later this week — perhaps as early as Monday — by detonating the unexploded charges or by using excavators.

Opening in 1975, the Pontiac Silverdome hosted the Lions through the 2001 season. Following the club’s departure, the fate of the Silverdome was a subject of debate among Pontiac officials, who ultimately decided to sell it to the Toronto-based Triple Investment Group for $583,000 at public auction in 2009. Though it reopened for a short period, the Silverdome’s roof was purposely deflated and later damaged by a 2013 snow storm, and the facility’s condition continued to deteriorate from there.

In addition to serving as home of the Lions, the Pontiac Silverdome hosted the NBA’s Detroit Pistons from 1978-1988, and was used for several major sporting events–including Super Bowl XVI in 1982 and the 1979 NBA All-Star Game.

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