When the Silverdome was first built in Pontiac, Mich., it was somewhat of a marvel. As reported by Detroiturbex.com, the roof was covered by “a cable restrained air supported fiberglass fabric,” and the dome was be “held up by positive pressure generated by large fans, and kept in the stadium by pressure-sealed doors.” It seated 80,638 with 102 luxury suites, making it one of the world’s largest football stadiums.
But over time, the novelty of the stadium wore off. The Detroit Pistons had also moved into the Silverdome in 1977, but they were gone by the 1988-89 NBA season. By 1996, it needed extensive repairs, and being located outside of Detroit didn’t seem worth it for the team anymore.
The last Lions game was played on January 6, 2002 against the Dallas Cowboys. They now play at Ford Field in Detroit.
From 2003 to 2009, the city of Pontiac tried to sell the stadium to no avail. Concerts wouldn’t have generated enough revenue for the city to afford to keep it running. The city had to auction it with no minimum bidding price in 2009. It sold for $583,000.
The Silverdome was refurbished in 2010 by real estate magnate Andreas Apostolopoulos, and some events — soccer matches, boxing matches and concerts — were held there that year. There was even talk of removing the roof and making it the home of a new MLS franchise.
All of the plans for the stadium fell through when harsh weather began to destroy parts of the Silverdome with every storm. With all of the extensive damage, the stadium is abandoned, underwater, and littered with pieces of the roof.