Demolition of the Pontiac Silverdome will begin on Sunday, bringing an end to the former home of the Detroit Lions.
The fate of the Silverdome has been a subject of debate for years. The Lions played their final season at the stadium in 2001, and Pontiac subsequently spent considerable time exploring alternative uses for the Silverdome before officials ultimately decided to sell the facility. In 2009, it was sold to the Toronto-based Triple Investment Group for $583,000 at public auction.
Though it reopened for a short period, the Silverdome’s roof was purposely deflated and later damaged by a 2013 snow storm. The facility continued to deteriorate from there, and officials are now moving forward with its demolition. On December 3, the steel band that once supported the Silverdome’s roof will be imploded, with the rest of the stadium set to come down over the course of a longer process. More from The Oakland Press:
The partial implosion of the dome will see small charges fixed to the vertical beams surrounding the stadium, which once detonated, will break the beams and drop the steel ring to the ground.
Parking for public viewing of the implosion will be available at the Water Resources Commission parking lot, located at the southwest corner of North Opdyke Road and South of M-59. Vehicles must be parked by 8:15 a.m and signs will be stationed to direct traffic.
Deirdre Waterman, mayor of Pontiac, along with state and local officials, will speak inside the Silverdome for a short program at 8 a.m. Sports celebrities who once played in the Silverdome are also expected to be in attendance, though those names are not being released immediately, according to event organizers.
The rest of the dome will come down in pieces by hydraulic excavator over the next year as a vacuuming process removes left over debris. Roughly 1,7000 tons of structural steel and 1,800 tons of rebar will be recycled at a ferrous processing plant in Pontiac throughout the demolition process.
The Pontiac Silverdome was home to the Lions from 1975-2001. It also served as home to 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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