The Pontiac Silverdome was built in the early 1970s in Detroit, Michigan and was a very forward thinking domed stadium for its time. The major tenant it was built for was the Detroit Lions who were having a variety of stadium issues playing football in aging Tiger Stadium which was essentially a baseball stadium. The stadium was closed for a number of years, but is still in use today and is an important part of the city’s event and performance world.
Here is a look at some fun facts and interesting information surrounding the famous Silverdome.
-The cost of construction of the Pontiac Silverdome was $55.7 million.
-Ground was broken for construction of the dome on September 19th, 1973.
-The Pontiac Silverdome opened on December 6th, 1975.
-From 1975 to 2005, the Silverdome’s football field surface was AstroTurf, at that time it was changed to FieldTurf.
-The largest crowd ever present inside the Silverdome was the 93,682 people who came celebrate Mass with Pope John Paul II in 1987.
-In 1994, four first round games of the 1994 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament were played inside the Silverdome. This was the first time World Cup games were played indoors. Natural grass was brought inside for the event.
-From 1997 to 2001, the Motor City Bowl was played in the Pontiac Silverdome.
-1984 and 1985 saw college football’s Cherry Bowl played there.
-The Detroit Pistons called the Silverdome home from 1978 to 1988.
-Super Bowl XVI in 1982 was held at the Pontiac Silverdome.
-The record for largest attendance of an indoor sporting event in North America was established in the Silverdome in 1987 when it hosted the World Wrestling Federation’s WrestleMania III. This record was broken by the 2010 NBA All-Star Game when it was held in Cowboys Stadium.
-Some of the musicians and groups that have performed there include Bruce Springsteen, U2, Van Halen, Pink, David Bowie, Madonna, Faith No More, Pink Floyd, Backstreet Boys, The Cars, The Rolling Stones, KISS, The Jacksons, The Who, Bob Seger, and even Elvis Presley.
-On March 4th, 1985, a snowstorm caused parts of the Silverdome’s roof to collapse. The Detroit Pistons had to move their remaining home games to nearby Joe Louis Arena that season.
-In the mid 2000s, part of the Pontiac Silverdome’s parking lot was turned into a drive-in movie theater.
-The city of Pontiac, unable to keep up with maintenance costs, sold the Silverdome in 2009 by auction with no minimum bid. The winning bidder was Andreas Apostolopoulos of Triple Properties, Inc. who bid $550,000 for the building that once cost well over $55 million to build.