Detroit stadium still stands after implosion fails, destruction enthusiasts go home disappointed
For thousands of onlookers who came out on a cold morning in hopes of seeing a dramatic collapse, the failure was a letdown
A plan to demolish a derelict stadium near Detroit went awry when a deafening series of blasts failed to topple the Pontiac Silverdome, to the frustration of officials and the bemusement of a crowd gathered to watch the spectacle.
Fans of the Detroit Lions, the team that called the Silverdome home until moving to a downtown stadium after the 2001 season, joked on social media that the failed implosion was by no means the first time they found themselves leaving the stadium car park disappointed. The Lions have not won a National Football League championship since 1957, the league’s second longest title drought.
“Guess the Silverdome went through one too many implosions in its history,” the sports desk of the Detroit Free Press wrote on Twitter.
Live video footage of the planned demolition, which Pontiac city officials said was to make way for new development, was broadcast online on Sunday morning for nostalgic fans and those who enjoy watching large structures collapsing in smoke.
What they saw, according to clips posted online, was plumes of smoke exploding out at regular intervals around the stadium’s perimeter with a smattering of loud bangs.
After the smoke wreathed upward and faded, the stadium was still standing proud, looking little different from what it has since its 1975 opening.
Demolition officials were quick to state the obvious.
“That didn’t work,” one official said to two colleagues, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Demolition officials said about 10 per cent of the charges had failed to detonate, perhaps because of a wiring issue, the newspaper reported.
“Unless we find something in the next few hours researching the wiring, we will take it down mechanically,” Rick Cuppetilli, the Adamo Group’s executive vice-president, told the Free Press.
“We haven’t found the wire yet. It’s going to take us a while to research it all.” Gravity may yet belatedly pull it down anyway, he added.
The Silverdome is being torn down today, site of the biggest moment in wrestling history pic.twitter.com/3Vnh5tiTML
— Jack McCurry (@JMcCurryCLE) December 3, 2017
Lmao...the Silverdome still stands after explosives went off. Most Detroit thing ever
— Dawgs Ninja #ATD (@BravesNinja) December 3, 2017
The Pontiac Silverdome becomes the first implosion to wish a bus had shielded it from public view. pic.twitter.com/9PuOV3hWyJ
— Dan Hasty (@ThatDanHasty) December 3, 2017
My god. They tried to implode the Pontiac Silverdome just now. They explosions went off, and the old girl just stood there, smiled, and said, “Really?” #silverdome
— Josh Mackey (@JMackey1981) December 3, 2017
Pontiac Mayor Diedre Waterman, who witnessed the failed implosion, told reporters that the stadium’s tenacity gave people “a chance to share their memories and their nostalgia a little bit longer than we expected.”
The stadium also hosted the 1982 Super Bowl and major bands like Led Zeppelin. It reopened in 2010 for various sporting events until its roof collapsed in 2013.
Still, the mayor said, she wanted the stadium down.
“We didn’t want it sitting here as a blight property,” she said.