The Pontiac Silverdome first opened its doors in 1975. It featured a new architectural technique using air pressure to hold up a fiberglass fabric roof. At the time it was the largest stadium in the National Football League.

It was the home field for the Detroit Lions for many years. It was used for ther events, like the Detroit Pistons (from 1978-1988), the Detroit Express of the North American Soccer League, the United States Football League's Michigan Panthers, two college bowl games, concerts, and even the Detroit Mechanix of the Ultimate Disc League. The largest crowd ever at the Pontiac Silverdome was 93,682 people who gathered for a Mass with Pope John Paul II on September 18th, 1987. Another event with close to that number happened on April 30th, 1977, when 93,173 fans showed up for WrestleMania III.

The Detroit Lions played their first game at the Pontiac Silverdome on August 23rd, 1975 in a preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Their first regular season game that year was against the Dallas Cowboys and the game -- in the new Silverdome -- was featured on ABC's Monday Night Football. Detroit lost 36-10. For 27 years the Lions would call the Silverdome their home. They played their last game there on January 6th, 2002 also against the Dallas Cowboys -- a game the Lions actually won 15-10.

Life for the Silverdome after the Detroit Lions Moved to Ford Field

For some time after the Lions made their move to Ford Field in downtown Detroit, the Silverdome still saw some life. The upper concourse was used for inline skating. From 2003-2006 the parking lot featured a three-screen drive in theater. The drive in reopened in 2010 but closed the following year. Monster Jam was also held at the Silverdome on January 7, 2006 and the Pittsburgh Steelers used it as a practice facility for Super Bowl XL.

The Silverdome was Auctioned Off

The City of Pontiac auctioned off the property in November 2009. A real estate developer Andreas Apostolopoulos submitted the winning bid of $550,000. The following year the Silverdome opened in April for a monster truck event and a few other events, but in 2014 the owner announced the contents would be auction off.

As the Silverdome sat empty, with a collapsed roof, a photographer from Cleveland, Johnny Joo, captured pictures of what the Silverdome had turned into...

In October 2015 it was announced that the Silverdome would be demolished. It was condemned in 2017 and cleared for demolition.

December 3, 2017: The Demolition -- Or Not!

The Silverdome was prepared for implosion what would happen on December 3rd of 2017. Many people gathered in the parking lot to watch the Silverdome be reduced to rubble. The countdown began, the explosions were heard, there was some smoke -- but the Silverdome remained standing...

Even the Detroit television station that was broadcasting the event live wasn't quite sure what was happening -- or not happening...

A wiring issue caused some of the explosive to not detonate. A second attempt to reduce the Silverdome to rubble happened the next day...

On the second day, the public was not given enough notice to go witness the demolition, but the implosion was caught by a camera on a news chopper. The site has since been turned into an Amazon warehouse.

The Pontiac Silverdome was not the only stadium demolished in that decade. Here is a video of other stadiums that mean their demise in the 2010s...

Re-Surfaced Fan Photos From WrestleMania 3 At The Pontiac Silverdome

On March 29th, 1987 history was made as 93,173 people jam packed the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, MI to watch one of the most major shifts in sports entertainment history. Here are some recently surfaced fan photos from that day.

Gallery Credit: Photos Provided By Charlie Aquilina & Bill Jacek

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