VIDEO: Pontiac Silverdome demolition begins with failed partial implosion

Vacant Silverdome finally faces demolition

PONTIAC, Mich. – The initial series of explosions at the Pontiac Silverdome began on Sunday morning. Unfortunately, it failed.

The first explosions took place at 8:30 a.m. - you can watch it above. An official on the scene told Local 4 that the demolition didn't go according to plan. 

Another implosion will be scheduled at a later date.

The blast was meant break the metal beams that support the upper ring of the stadium; a 20-foot steel band that supported the equipment that was used to keep the roof inflated.  Each vertical beam surrounding the Silverdome will house a small charge, which upon detonation; will cause the beams to break and the steel ring to fall to the ground.

The remainder of the demolition process will be handled through the use of hydraulic excavators and will be completed in sections.  1,700 tons of structural steel and 1,800 tons of rebar will be recycled at the Ferrous Processing plant within the City, keeping seven workers busy for at least six months, though it will take approximately one year to complete the full demolition of the structure.

History of the Pontiac Silverdome

The Pontiac Silverdome was the former home of the Detroit Lions (1975-2001), the Detroit Pistons (1978-1988) and the North American Soccer League's Detroit Express (1978-1980).

During its time in operation the venue also hosted the NCAA Cherry Bowl (1984-85), WrestleMania III (1987) and a Led Zepplin rock concert (1977).

The stadium also hosted a record crowd of nearly 93,000 in September 1987, when a mass was celebrated by Pope John Paul II.

Related: Detroit's history with new sports teams

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.