After a year without a roof, the Pontiac Silverdome is even more of a wreck

WDIV in Detroit checked in on the Pontiac Silverdome yesterday to see how it’s doing since its inflatable roof started tearing, and yikes:

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Warning: Graphic images not only of a trashed stadium, but of a man wearing a plastic blue lion head hat and lion sunglasses.

The Silverdome’s bizarro owner is auctioning off what’s left of it, which may help him recoup the $583,000 purchase price he paid for it back in 2009. Seats from the stadium, only slightly damp, are available for sale now; if you want a Zamboni or a urinal, you’ll have to wait till May 21.


11 comments on “After a year without a roof, the Pontiac Silverdome is even more of a wreck

  1. darn, and I’ve spent years training for playing in a fledgling monster truck polo team.

    $100-175 a set and even scraps of roof for $25… this guy may recover his half a million dollars if he can sell enough of these.

  2. They do have what every man really wants in his bathroom….

    http://www.rjmauctions.com/online_silverdome/assets.html
    KOHLER URINALS

  3. Now it’s an answer to a trivia question. What did a now nearly bankrupt, two bit Michigan city pay 55 million (in 1975 dollars) for, to lure major league sports teams, that was sold for 100 times less, and now is a empty monument to government folly?

  4. Too telegraphed. “What former Super Bowl site did Andreas Apostolopoulos buy for $583,000 in 2009, only to watch as its roof collapsed?”

  5. Or you could do “What Michigan city spent $55 million on a domed stadium in 1975, only to sell it 44 years later for $583,000 to stave off bankruptcy?”

  6. But, there is a serious point here. A stadium or arena, without a regular, full season, paying sports team tenant, is virtually worthless. Overhead and upkeep will doom a vacant venue. The wily team owners know and use this mercilessly against the hapless pols. As this blog shows, the fear of having the next silverdome, causes the outrageous lease terms handed out to sports teams. Meanwhile, noone with the Lions or Pistons is losing any sleep over the fate of the silverdome..

  7. Two things:

    1) How does fear of having an empty stadium lead to outrageous lease terms? At the time that Pontiac was considering building the Silverdome, its leaders could easily have said to the Lions, “Agree to better lease terms, or we won’t build you a stadium.” It’s the teams that need a place to play, not the cities.

    2) From the perspective of a city’s economy, and certainly of a region’s or state’s, even a non-vacant sports facility is virtually worthless. It just looks nicer in the overhead photos.

  8. “How does fear of having an empty stadium lead to outrageous lease terms? At the time that Pontiac was considering building the Silverdome, its leaders could easily have said to the Lions, “Agree to better lease terms, or we won’t build you a stadium.” It’s the teams that need a place to play, not the cities.”

    It is not as much an empty stadium as the loss of the team, there has been the quick option to jump to in San Antonio or the big target of LA for possibly threats. Plus if you not one in the top half of most populous cities in the league, there is not a whole lot of a reason that your market is going to be radically better than any of next couple dozen cities either without football or without a pro team that are willing to give a sweetheart deal.

  9. Fascinating that they left *all* of the concessions equipment and *all* of the video equipment. It might be understandable that the video equipment needed to be updated on an every-few-years-basis, but the concessions equipment? I don’t think that the concessions equipment would need to be replaced that frequently unless Moore’s Law now applies to hot dog and soda technology. Just sort of points out the general waste of these situations even above and beyond the obvious.

  10. It’s really just about smart people moving the message and getting dumb people to commit (other people’s) money to their projects.

    It doesn’t matter whether the transition is from “why should we pay for a new facility” to “How should we”, or whether it’s “our team doesn’t have a place to play” to “we’ll lose our team if we don’t build them exactly what they want and charge them nothing to play in it”.

    If we (and by that I mean both the politicians and the voters who put them in office) are dumb enough to do this, why are we surprised when team officials/representatives demand new facilities every 15-18 years?

    My personal favourite boondoggle is the contract term that requires a facility to be in the top x percentile of the league…as determined by the tenant of course.

    It is self evident that some team will have the “worst” stadium in the league even if all 30-32 are less than 5 years old and entirely encased in platinum.

    People are stupid.