New life for Pontiac Silverdome: First up, monster trucks - CSMonitor.com
For a decade, the Silverdome has been a symbol of economic distress in southeastern Michigan, an area hit hard by mass layoffs, a shrinking population, the foreclosure crisis, and automotive plant closures. The hulking arena was sold via an auction sponsored by the city of Pontiac for about 1 percent of its $55.7 million construction cost in 1975.
City officials at Thursday’s press conference agreed. “This is a good day for the city ... to have the Silverdome on the cusp of becoming a major regional entertainment center again,” said Fred Leeb, Pontiac's emergency financial manager. “The facility is poised to again generate revenue for the city and is expected to be a key piece in Pontiac's economic rebound.”
But after the Detroit Lions' 2001 departure for Ford Field in downtown Detroit, the venue was used only sporadically, contributing to its disrepair. Upset over the Silverdome's $1.5 million annual upkeep costs, the city had considered demolition before the 2009 auction.