Pontiac Silverdome Sells For Only $583,000

35 years ago, taxpayers paid $55.7 million to build the Pontiac Silverdome, former home of the Detroit Lions. The city of Pontiac has been itching to be free of the stadium’s $1.5 million umaintenence bill, so it sold the property at auction. For $583,000.

The winning bidder is an unknown Canadian company that apparently wants to bring a soccer team to the Detroit area.

From the Detroit News:

“We had hoped it would have brought more, but now the city can be freed of its upkeep and get it back on the tax rolls,” Leeb said. Pontiac Mayor Clarence Phillips said he was “disappointed” but knew the city had to shed the costly structure. Councilman Everett Seay said he expects someone — possibly a prospective buyer turned down in recent years — to file a lawsuit to block the sale.

“The citizens of Pontiac deserve better,” Seay said. “This is pennies on the dollar (of what it cost). It goes to show how bad times are … Worse, we don’t even know who bought it.”

The company, which Leeb described only as a Toronto-based group of real estate investors and a “family-run business,” was one of four bidders considered during an auction at the Marriott Hotel. Others bidders were not identified and most left without talking to reporters.

It’s too bad nobody told us they were accepting bids. Then again, Consumerist doesn’t really believe in dome blogging.

Silverdome sale price disappoints [Detroit News]


Edit Your Comment

  1. nnj says:

    I wonder if the $8000 tax credit applies?

  2. bornonbord says:

    Um… do they think Soccer is going to bring in revenue?

    Are they British? Or Kiwis?

  3. Blueskylaw says:

    The first thing the city of Detroit did is issue a fine to the Canadian company for having a blighted property and tall grass.

    • TacoChuck says:

      @Blueskylaw: It is called the Pontiac Silverdome for a reason: It is in the City of Pontiac Michigan.

      • nybiker says:

        @TacoChuck: I was going to make some snarky comment that maybe it is named after the car model? But nothing on the page, [en.wikipedia.org] indicates it was done that way.

        So, therefore, no snarky comment from.

        But Google Maps has it about 30 or so miles from Detroit, so maybe Blueskylaw was thinking that Pontiac was under the jurisdiction of Detroit’s Business Improvement District (we have those here in NYC).

    • Blueskylaw says:


      Thank you for the correction. I guess I have something against Detroit when my Ford stock crapped out on me.

      • henrygates says:

        @Blueskylaw: At least Ford is making a comeback. GM took the bailout money, filed bankruptcy anyway, and gave all the stockholders a swift kick in the rear.

  4. Quatre707 says:

    The Silverdome is in the heart of the most economically challenged area in the country… What did they expect?

    Not taking the 20 million dollar offer to turn it into a horse racing/gambling establishment last year was a big mistake.

  5. Wireless Joe says:

    While it’s pennies on the dollar of the original construction cost (and micro-pennies on the dollar for replacement costs), they got exactly what the white elephant is worth in its current state.

    See also the old Chicago post office building which has an estimated replacement value of $300 million, but was sold at auction first for $40 million, and then $17 million when the winning bidder defaulted on his original winning bid, and consequently won the second round of bidding.

  6. rorschachex says:

    I can’t comment on the stadium itself, but from experience in FSAE, they desperately need to fix the parking lots!

  7. Trai_Dep says:

    Damn Canadians, taking over America one stadium at a time.
    Although their version of football involves cuddly seals wearing soooo cuuuute knitted helmets lined up on each side, hiking a herring to each other. So it’s not a total loss.

  8. Froggmann says:

    Makes sense to me, doesn’t this follow the depreciation curve of the average Pontiac?

  9. u1itn0w2day says:

    This is an excellent example of why you do not let a professional sport team with millionare owners BLACKMAIL your community into to giving them or paying for a stadium FOR THEIR BUSINESS .

    If it was a municipal stadium I wonder how much rent/tax actually went back into the community .