Wednesday, October 7, 2009

City of Pontiac auctions off the Silverdome - Oct. 7, 2009

City of Pontiac auctions off the Silverdome - Oct. 7, 2009

"The reason we're putting it up for auction is because the Detroit Lions moved out years ago, and since then it's only been used sporadically," Leeb said. "So we want to convert a major premier asset of the city -- convert it from something that's been languishing into a new, vibrant marquee asset of the community."

Leeb acknowledged that "demolition is a possibility."

But the city is willing to work with a buyer to give the Silverdome new life. "We established a very flexible zoning ordinance to allow people to do virtually anything that makes economic sense," Leeb said.

Mark Rosentraub, professor of sports management at the University of Michigan and an expert in stadium finance and construction, said the city of Pontiac faces a tough sell in trying to get a good price for the now-empty dome, considering the state of the Michigan economy.

"The Detroit or southeast Michigan market does not need the dome in its current uses," he said. "The population base is not expanding, and between The Palace in Auburn Hills, Ford Field and the Joe Lewis Arena [both in Detroit], anyone looking at it has to have an alternate use in mind for the facility or the land."

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