PONTIAC, Mich. – The Pontiac Silverdome, former home of the Detroit Lions and Detroit Pistons, is set to be demolished by the end of the summer after the stadium owner and the mayor of Pontiac agreed Tuesday on a timeline.
Pontiac Mayor Deirde Waterman and the owners of Triple Investment Group announced Tuesday that they have reached an agreement on a timetable to demolish the stadium.
"We have reached a point where we must say goodbye to what was once one of the world's greatest venues," said Andreas Apostolopoulos, CEO of TIG. "The Silverdome was not only the proud home of the Lions and the Pistons, but also served as host facility for the Pope, the Super Bowl, the World Cup, the original Wrestlemania and countless other events. As we say goodbye to an iconic place that was the setting for so many great memories, we put in place new development opportunities for one of the most unique properties in our nation."
Waterman said the city has been working with the owners of the Silverdome for "a long time" to reach this point.
"We wanted to be reasonable, but were insistent on arriving at a definitive solution for this troubled property," Waterman said. "We all recognize that the time has come to remove a structure that was once a source of pride for our city and region. The city looks forward to continuing to work with TIG as it repositions the property for new development."
City Attorney J. Travis Mihelick said the Silverdome has reached a point in which the city believed it was a safety risk. He said it was a destination for vandalism and mischief.
"The city is satisfied with the judgment and believes the measures taken will not only make the property safer, but also more aesthetically attractive," Mihelick said. "Most importantly, we all believe it will be even more development-ready when the next opportunity emerges."
"We all recognized that this is a unique property that is going through a difficult transition phase," said J. Patrick Lennon, of Honigman, Miller, Schwartz and Cohn LLP, the attorney for TIG. "We also recognized that the Silverdome is an important property to the city and state and presents special circumstances. There were difficulties and challenges, but in the interest of the greater good, we all chose to reach across the table, work together, rather than pound on it. The judgment is the result of these efforts and not only establishes the rules for the transition phase, but also positions the property for the future."
Mihelick said in addition to the demolition, the agreement requires ongoing security and safety measures and regular meetings about development efforts.
"All of us at TIG see a bright future and are fully focused on the path forward," Apostolopolous said. "The property continues to be in a transition phase, but we are more committed than ever to working with potential users, developers, brokers and investors. We have entertained many great ideas and look forward to hearing and evaluating many more. In closing, the Silverdome will soon be gone, but to use a football term, we continue to be on offense and believe the best is yet to come."
"As sad as it might be to say goodbye to a place that housed so many lifelong memories," Waterman said. "We also all know that the time has come. Like TIG, the city is committed to working with developers and achieving the best economic value for this property, as Pontiac continues its economic revitalization."
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