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Keeping his eye on the news and offering commentaries and insights on what is happening in Oakland County, around the world, on the tube and in the news.

Friday, November 20, 2009

People remember the Silverdome

Readers celebrated their memories of the Pontiac Silverdome, which is being sold to a Canadian company after the city conducted an auction this week.
The Pope drew a crowd. Wrestlemania ruled for a night. A Super Bowl brought the world, and then the world came with soccer. Rock 'n' roll and family fun.
Oh, and the Lions, who won their only playoff game since 1957 inside the Dome in January of 1992, my first trip of many to the superstructure. The memories are many.
While a judge will rule this week on an effort to stop the sale, readers were quick to recall their own personal highlights of visiting the one-time Eighth Wonder of the World that has sat mostly empty at Featherstone and Opdyke since 2002. They shared their memories — mostly good, some bad — by commenting on our stories.
Here is some of what you had to say:
— "I grew up two blocks from the Silverdome, and I have a Million memories!" said Tim. "I was very young and I remember my dad took me to a game and the roof wasn't even complete! Many concerts, including Victory tour, Kiss, U2's Zoo tour, Genesis, Pistons against Boston, then Pistons vs. Lakers . That series was the last played by the Pistons at the Dome. Also, Bill Sims, Barry Sanders Thanksgiving Day! I attended them all."
— "I believe it was 1976, went to the Thanksgiving game, Lions against the Rams," said George. "Sat there for three hours, soaked because roof was leaking."
— "I went to the first Monday night game in 1975, (Roger) Staubach, Ed (Too Tall) Jones, Garrison," said Randy. "Wow, what a place it was back then."n "Oct. 10, 1975, when my ex-husband was working for the city and we got a tour before the dome opened.," said one. "Then, going back and watching my son ride motorcycles in the motocross races." 
— "My fondest memory of the Silverdome was when Michael Jackson had a concert there," said one. "It was something I never could have imagined happening to me. I will never forget that concert."
— "Bigger is not always better," said Joe. "Way overbuilt. The golden days sure didn't help the sale price." 
— "What about World Cup Soccer?" recalled another. "I would say that was a pretty big deal. In fact, I had the World Cup in my car while I transported it to the Silverdome!"
— "I grew up in the area so I have lots of memories there, but I remember learning how to drive a stick (three on the tree)," recalled one Pontiac resident. "I was about 15 so it was in 1993."
— "Pink Floyd, 1990-something," said Rick. "I got drunk and rowdy and probably puked. It was great."
— "The day I adopted my son (in 2002), we went to the circus at the Silverdome that same night," said one reader. 
— "Lots of good times," said Jimbo, "a longtime and still Lions' season ticket holder, concerts (such as Paul) McCartney and Wings, closed-circuit TV (Thomas) Hearns and (Sugar Ray) Leonard fight, Michigan Panthers games, Mike Utley's 'Thumbs Up,' Barry (Sanders), I am going miss it. I still drive by it every day and remember the good old days."
— "The WHO," said one. "It was freezing in there!"
— "I saw my first concert there," said CH. "But my favorite is when I skipped school and stayed the night in the parking lot with friends to be the first in line to buy tickets to a Led Zeppelin concert. I got caught skipping school by being seen on the news, got in trouble, but I still talked my way into being able to go to the concert."
— "Remember it was called the Pon-Met Stadium at first, then they had to change the name because booking agents didn't know it was a dome," said Pon-Met Fan. "The Lions' playoff victory over Dallas, I had season tickets at that time, first row upper deck right above the Main Event, pounding on the Marlboro sign. Tailgating after the game because traffic was so bad. How about when the roof fell! That was amazing."
— "The field was wet and was not drying for the first event," recalled George. "Two helicopters flew back and forth to push the water aside. It was really loud and also very neat to see. Wish there was digital back then. The Pontiac Metropolitan Stadium was the first to be built on time and on budget. The Metrodome in Minn. was designed from it and is still in use. What a waste!"
— "I use to live across the street from the Silverdome from 1980 to 1985," wrote Sandy. "I lived in a trailer park where the Walmart is now. I remember every time they had an event there, the parking had to block our front entrance, because people would come in and park in someone's parking space instead of paying for parking."
— "I can remember when the Pontiac Youth Football had there playoff games in the Dome," said a youth football fan. "Each one of the player were so excited to be on the same field as the Lions, sometimes some of the players stayed to watch the kids. This was the best of times for the Dome."
— "I remember in the mid-to-late 1970s my dad worked for the Detroit Express soccer team," said Chris. "We attended many soccer games during those times. In the years thereafter, it was many monster truck rally's. Within the last few years it was 'roll in the dome'" Roller-blading around the concourse. And I can't forget Guns 'N Roses and Metallica concert in 1992."
n "Who could forget the World Cup in 1994, the only indoor venue to host the Cup?" said one fan. "But, the best was Springsteen in '85!"
— "I remember riding my bike around the Silverdome every day when I was little," said one neighbor. 
— "Elvis, Baby!" proclaimed a fan. "New Years Eve's 1975! So glad I went!" 
n "My fondest memories of the Silverdome are when it wasn't there at all," said Bill. "The land was called Motorcycle Hills and drew hundreds of people on weekends to enjoy the outdoors. It should never have been built!"
— "I heard The Who (working security," said Stella, who went on to work security during Piston games. "At that time, you had to form a guard line, holding hands, so fans couldn't hurt the basketball players. You got to know them. They were great. Oh, and my grandson's face after seeing Michael Jackson in concert. Thanks for the memories."
— "My wife and I had our wedding reception at the Silverdome on June 5, 1982," said JC. "It was a gala event and everyone who attended had a great time."
— "Seeing the 1992 Oxford Wildcats high school football team win their first championship in the dome," said Mike. "What a great time, old times I will hold dear to my heart." 
— "First two years it was open we had season tickets, $100 per person," said Louise. "The Lions actually won a few back then and it was affordable to go see them. The dome was like the Eighth Wonder of the World in '75." 
— "Definitely, the (Rolling) Stones in '81," said James. "The Stones concert in '89 was a drag; they should have retired by then."
— "My favorite memory of the Silverdome is the carnival!" recalled another. "Remember the pirate ship and the candy apples?"
— "Remembering the Lions winning a football game, and with Barry Sanders!" recalled a reader. 
— "The thing I remember most about the Silverdome is no matter where you go in the city, you could see it," said RH. "It just seemed so big driving by. At night, it took my breath away, sitting up on the hill against the dark sky with lights all the way around it. So sad to think it was so breathtaking and it sold for so little. Lots of blood, sweat and tears that belong to the people of Pontiac." 


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