Thursday, November 19, 2009

Home Sweet Dome

Are you a Detroit Lions football fan? Or Want a piece of history? Got $583,000? If so then maybe the Pontiac Silverdome could be for you. Not unlike what Rogers did when they bought the Jays and the SkyDome (now Rogers Centre) at a huge discount a Canadian Real Estate company won an auction and are now the proud owners of an old arena with no tenant right now for the price of a decent home, depending on your location.

The Silverdome was the home of the Lions from when it was built in 1975 at a cost of $55.7 million. To put that into perspective, if that were to be built today it would cost in the neighbourhood of $220,000,000. The stadium obtained the name "Silverdome" due to a silver-like reflection caused by the sun, mainly noticed from the sky. The roof was constructed with Teflon-coated fiberglass panels, and supported by air pressure inside the stadium. It remained the teams home until they moved into Ford Field in 2001. The stadium could hold 80,311 for football games..the largest stadium until 1997 when FedEx Field opened. It was also the home of the Detroit Pistons of the NBA from 1978–1988. They then moved to. The Palace of Auburn Hills.

There were many events that were hosted there over the lifespan of the dome, most notably the home of some USFL Teams and various NCAA Bowl games. It did also host four first-round games during the 1994 FIFA World Cup, where they used real grass over the Astroturf that they grew on pallets and in between games they would take the grass outside into the sun and would be watered and cared for until the games then brought back in for the matches.
The Silverdome’s largest crowd was on March 29, 1987 for WrestleMania III, with a reported attendance of 93,173. This was followed by an April 30, 1977 concert involving Led Zeppelin with 76,229 in attendance, which at the time narrowly outdid The Who who had 75,962 people.

The dome was recently sold to Canadian investors for the previously mentioned $583,000 which goes to show a) How expensive the upkeep on a venue that size but also the state of not only the economy but the Real Estate Market in Detroit. The new developer intends to use the Silverdome to host Major League Soccer games. A few years back there were proposals of upwards of $19 million to sell a few years ago but those were rejected. In hindsight maybe thy should have taken that offer.

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