It may have hosted the Super Bowl in 1982, but the Silverdome has definitely been in its own overtime the last few years. Since the Detroit Lions left in 2001, the Silverdome has been searching for a purpose, although a popular venue for concerts throughout its life, until the current ownership, the Triple Investment Group, finally decided the 130-acre site had potential for development.
It was at that point that plans for demolition of the old site, whose record attendance of 93,173 came when it was host to WrestleMania III in 1987, were made and the project to redevelop the large site began. As one of the largest construction projects in the region, it has attracted a lot of interest within the industry, but until December, there was not a lot to see.
However, December was marked as the beginning of the demolition of the Silverdome itself, a significant challenge due to its size, but also one that has attracted a lot of interest, with members of the public more curious that ever due to the connection with the venue through their favored sports teams. Indeed, there was even a live video stream set up to let people watch the demolition itself.
However, when it came time to take the upper structure down, things did not go quite as planned. As thousands watched online and at the sire, the countdown came, the explosion occurred, and the Silverdome remained standing. While weakened, the upper part of the building was still intact, and since then investigation has shown wiring errors caused some explosives to remain undetonated, as the cause.
The stadium eventually gave in a couple of days later, when a new demolition with fresh charges successfully brought the old stadium down, and now the major work of the project begins. However, the initial failure attracted a lot of attention, not least from Detroit Lions fans, with many comparing the failure with the performances of their beloved team when they were performing inside that very stadium.
Now the major demolition is complete, large numbers of heavy machinery operators and other contractors are on site removing the debris and preparing the ground for the redevelopment. With such a large project, machinery of all sizes is being used, and it represents one of the largest construction projects in progress in Detroit at the moment.