5 Years Ago: Attempts to Implode the Pontiac Silverdome Fail
Talk about a #Fail!
On December 3, 2017, crews were set to demolish the former home of the Detroit Lions after high maintenance costs forced the stadium to fall into disrepair and it was eventually abandoned. However, the dramatic explosion did not go according to plan!
In 2017, the Detroit Free Press reported that the City of Pontiac had issued a demolition permit for the 42-year-old stadium to meet its end. In a news release, the City said,
Each vertical beam surrounding the Silverdome will house a small charge, which upon detonation, will cause the beams to break and the steel ring to fall to the ground
On December 3, the public was invited to watch as part of an informal farewell ceremony in which several former Lions players were expected to attend. However, when the big moment arrived several of the explosives failed to detonate and the Silverdome remained standing!
What Went Wrong?
The firm handling the demolition, Detroit-based Adamo Group, said that despite crews working for months to prepare the Silverdome for demolition, eight of the explosive charges failed to detonate due to unknown reasons. However, the group did state that trespassers had been seen on the property in the days prior to the scheduled demolition, so perhaps they could be to blame.
A second attempt to implode the Silverdome took place the following day with Adamo now doubling the amount of explosives used from 300 to 600 pounds of TNT. The second attempt was successful.
I have fond memories of visiting the Pontiac Silverdome, mostly for state high school marching band competitions. Besides being home to the Detroit Lions, the Silverdome also hosted Detroit Pistons games, MHSAA track and field tournaments, concerts, WrestleMania, and even four first-round matches of the 1994 FIFA World Cup!
The largest crowd attendance ever recorded at the Silverdome was when Pope John Paul II held mass for a group of 93,682 parishioners on September 18, 1987.
Which events do you remember attending at the Pontiac Silverdome?