The Explosives Went Off, but Silverdome Didn't Fall

A wiring issue causes problems in Pontiac, Michigan
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2017 4:12 PM CST
After Implosion, the Silverdome Is Still Standing
Detonations can be seen during an attempted implosion of the Silverdome, in Pontiac, Michigan, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017.   (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP)

Talk about anticlimactic: Michigan's Silverdome was scheduled to implode on Sunday morning, and the explosives went off at 8:30am, reports CNN—but when the smoke cleared, the Pontiac landmark was still erect. The implosion did do its job of breaking the stadium's steel beams, just not enough of them. Adamo Group, which was contracted to bring the stadium down, says about 10% of the explosives didn't detonate because of a wiring issue. The beams support the upper steel band that kept the roof inflated—when there was an inflatable roof. (The Free-Press reports it was done in by a winter storm a few years ago.) The company hasn't yet identified the root cause of the wiring mishap; it's unclear whether suspected Friday-night trespassers may have pulled the wires, perhaps accidentally.

Adamo says the beams that remain intact will come down this week, either via detonation or with excavators. Hydraulic excavators are what will take down the remainder, with WDIV reporting seven workers will spend six months recycling 1,700 tons of structural steel and 1,800 tons of rebar at the Ferrous Processing plant. The full demo will take one year and cap off an effort by the city to have the Silverdome come down so that the site can be redeveloped. It's been owned by Triple Investment Group since 2009. WDIV offers a history lesson: The Silverdome has been home to the Detroit Lions, the Detroit Pistons, the Detroit Express (soccer), WrestleMania III, and a 1977 Led Zeppelin concert, among other things. (This bus got in the way of a recent implosion.)

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