Pontiac Silverdome finally blown up, more or less

The Pontiac Silverdome is down. Repeat: The Pontiac Silverdome is down.

Demolition company president Richard Adamo said his company “couldn’t find the cords we believe were severed” that foiled the previous demolition attempt, so they decided to “reload the building the shoot it again.” Which presumably means workers had to go back inside a stadium that was teetering on the brink of collapse to load it up with more explosives — that’s the video that I want to see.

(Also, it looks to me like this explosion only knocked down the top half of the upper deck. Enh, good enough for government work.)


13 comments on “Pontiac Silverdome finally blown up, more or less

  1. Adamo is a government company? Holy hell they have a good racket then, considering all of the historic building demo contracts they’ve been funneled over the years.

    • No, it’s a figure of speech:

      http://www.yourdictionary.com/close-enough-for-government-work

  2. The intent of the demolition was only to take down the upper deck. I don’t know why that was the plan, but it was.

    • It’s because a fair amount of the lower bowl is dug into the ground and explosives would be impractical.

    • Don’t know if that was the plan or not, but if so, it failed spectacularly. The upper deck supports and crossmembers, like most of the superstructure of the stadium, is made of precast, reinforced concrete. I would say that a solid 97-98% of that concrete remained in place, even after the second set of explosions.

      The explosion/implosion was to impact three areas – the technical ring at the very top, that supported the roof and air moving equipment that kept it inflated; the steel framework and siding that the ring sat on, and the iron vertical beams that braced it. For the most part, the concrete parts of the upper deck were independent of the exterior siding that was taken down. The removal of all of that iron and steel material was required because there was no good way to take it down piece by piece, like they can with the concrete portions of the upper deck.

  3. What do you think, Neil, did the Silverdome have a legit 80,000 capacity? I’ve been going back and forth on Twitter about whether the real number was more like 72,000.

    • Given the Lions’ record for most of the Silverdome’s history, I’m sure its full capacity was rarely, if ever, tested.

    • I was in there many times and totally believe the 80,000 figure. It was an enormous place, much larger than the Metrodome and RCA Dome.

  4. Neil,

    Please get rid of that autoplay embed. It yaks at me every time I lod your home page.

    • So sorry — there was nothing in the code that said autoplay, and my ad blocker was preventing me from seeing it. Let me try to disable it now.

      • I took out the video embed entirely — for those who want to see the Silverdome upper deck partly fall down, click through on the link.

  5. The plan was only to take off the ring around the upper deck.

    A large part of the stadium is dug into the ground which made imploding the whole thing, like the Georgia Dome, impractical.

    Removing the ring made it safer for the demolition machines that’ll take the rest down.