Silverdome demolition doesn't go as planned, which seems appropriate

You know, sometimes the jokes write themselves. The Pontiac Silverdome, home of so many failed Detroit Lions teams, was slated for demolition early Sunday morning … and somehow, even the destruction of the Silverdome didn’t go smoothly.

Explosive charges that detonated at 8:30 a.m. ET were supposed to destroy the metal support columns that held up the highest reaches of the stadium, which in turn was supposed to send those sections collapsing to earth. Only, it didn’t quite happen that way. Those steel support beams remained standing after the smoke cleared.

We won’t speculate on what might be the next step if the upper sections don’t come down, but we assume air strikes aren’t out of the question. The city has planned to spend the next year demolishing the stadium in various stages and cleaning up the site, but it’s unclear how the demolition will proceed with this little setback.

The Silverdome hosted the Lions and Detroit Pistons, as well as the fabled Wrestlemania III (Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant!), Pope John Paul II’s mass in 1987 and concerts ranging from Led Zeppelin to Elvis Presley to Madonna. The San Francisco 49ers beat the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XVI at the Silverdome, and several 1994 World Cup matches took place there. Most recently, the stadium served as a filming location, hosting productions ranging from the independent film “Silverdome” to the megabudget “Transformers: The Last Night.”

It’s easy to dump on Detroit, so let’s take a more positive view. Rather than a logistical failure, let’s cast this as a success, a demonstration of Michigan spirit and strength and willpower. That old stadium’s too tough to take down! Yeah, that’s gotta be it! Just … just don’t get your hopes up too high and wander too close to those unsupported upper decks, OK? We wouldn’t push optimism that far.

The Silverdome refused to fall. (Screen shot)
The Silverdome refused to fall. (Screen shot)

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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