Pontiac Silverdome remains intact after series of explosions

Millar Hill
By Millar Hill December 4, 2017 14:30

By Millar Hill

Hundreds of spectators gather Sunday to watch the implosion of the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan. Photo by Millar Hill

Hundreds gathered Sunday in anticipation of a thunderous explosion to bring the Pontiac Silverdome to the ground in a Detroit suburb.

As the smoke cleared, many were shocked to see the structure still standing.

Explosives were placed on each of the steel beams supporting the upper ring of the structure. At approximately 8:30 a.m. a series of detonations went off but failed to implode the Silverdome. The explosives succeeded to break some but not all of the steel beams.

“Just like everybody, I was expecting this to come down. I am an electrical contractor and, right now, I feel sorry but things happen,” said Dave Woodward, a resident of Waterford, Mich. “It’s expected to come down by gravity.”

The Pontiac Silverdome opened in 1975 and was the primary home of the Detroit Lions from 1975 to 2001. The Detroit Pistons also played there from 1978 to 1988 before moving to the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich.

According to an online blog dedicated to the history of the Silverdome, it was the largest stadium in the NFL until 1977 when FedEx Field opened in Washington, D.C.

The Silverdome held up to 82,000 people.

Sports Zone owner Glen O’Neil was in “awe” attending the first Lions game at the Silverdome shortly after it opened.

“The first time I went was two years after it had opened. I remember thinking, ‘Wow, what a venue for sports.’ It was amazing,” he said. “I couldn’t believe that they built a building like that and had NFL football games going on.”

Woodward says he attended many games at the Silverdome before the Lions moved to downtown Detroit’s Ford field, which has a capacity of 65,000.

“It’s sad to see,” he said, while thinking back on old memories.

When O’Neil is driving and sees the Pontiac Silverdome from the 1-75, he often wonders why the city decided to let the structure fester.

“It’s such an amazing building. It’s like a monument for out in that area,” he said.

It’s only a matter of time until the Pontiac Silverdome comes crashing down.

But, for now, those who don’t want to see it go just yet can hold onto it for a little while longer.

 

Millar Hill
By Millar Hill December 4, 2017 14:30
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