There was a time when the Detroit Lions weren’t the NFL laughingstock that they are today. That time was the 1990s and that team played in a magical place called the Pontiac Silverdome.
Alright, maybe it wasn’t exactly a magical place, but the Lions — behind Barry Sanders and a pretty solid defense — won some games there. Also, and more importantly, the Pontiac Silverdome was home to Wrestlemania III.
It’s where the Hulkster came back from near death, thanks to the adrenaline supplied by thousands of a Hulkamaniacs, to defeat the unbeatable and suddenly angry Andre the Giant.
Things went downhill for the Silverdome when the Lions left after the 2001 season. The place closed in 2006. It was sold for a mere $583,000 to a real-estate developer in 2009.
That may sound pricy, but the Silverdome cost $55 million to build and that’s in 1975 dollars. So it was a pretty good deal for a football stadium.
Last year, the roof was destroyed by weather and was removed. The owner also auctioned off the contents of this former shrine of sport in 2014.
What’s left isn’t pretty.
Like much of the rest of Detroit, a once-great structure is now a dilapidated eyesore.
There’s probably a metaphor for the Detroit Lions in here waiting to be tossed about, but I’ll leave that to you.
I have fond memories of the Silverdome. In 1990 we flew to Detroit to see the Pack take on these guys. We sat in the nose bleeds with half Packer fans, half Lions fans. There was a young kid and his dad sitting next to us who were Packer fans and behind us was a jerk Lion fan jerks who was taunting the kid the whole game. It got so bad even Lions fans were telling him to shut up. The Lions were up 21-10 in the 4th quarter, but in Majik-man fashion, he lead the Packers to a victory in the 4th quarter. As the jerk left, dejected when Majkowski scored the go-ahead TD, the whole crowd booed him, even the Lions fans.