In fact, in less than a decade, we’ve experienced the invention of iPhones, 3-D printers, and Apple watches. Sometimes looking back on the past makes you appreciate the present, while other times, taking a step back in time can make you nostalgic for when things were simpler or even better in some ways.
If you were an NFL fan from 1975 to 2001, you’ll probably remember the original home of the Detroit Lions: the Pontiac Silverdome. Located in Pontiac, MI, the Pontiac Silverdome was the largest NFL stadium until the construction of the FedEx Field in 1997.
Football fans flocked to the stadium for years to see their beloved Lions play gridiron and hoped they’d make that year’s Superbowl, but in 2001, the Lions moved to Ford Field and the stadium was left without an owner. For years, the city tried to find a suitable tenant, but no one took the bait.
Eventually, upkeep of the football field became too costly and the city put the stadium up for auction. You won’t believe it when you find out how much the once gorgeous stadium sold for.
Some of these photos of the now decrepit stadium come from a young photographer named Johnny Joo. You can seem more photos of the decay on his website.
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The Pontiac Silverdome was the largest NFL stadium for decades.
It hosted some major events, such as concerts from The Who, Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, and Elvis Presley. Only bands popular enough to sell out this mammoth stadium got to play here.
A Mass with Pope John Paul II brought the largest audience ever with approximately 93,682 people in attendance.
Now that the stadium is inoperable, it has fallen into severe disrepair, as photographer Johnny Joo discovered.
Though the stadium was an American icon of the NFL for millions of people, it was located too far from the urban center of Detroit. Many home games were poorly attended, and upkeep of the 20-year-old stadium was proving too costly.
In a controversial decision, the owners decided to build a new stadium in a better location. The city was unable to keep up with the Silverdome's maintenance costs of nearly $1.5 million each year, so they auctioned off the property for a mere $500,000.
The behemoth stadium cost $55.7 million to build. That'd be nearly $240 million in 2014. Considering it was sold at auction for only $500,000, this was a major financial loss for the city.
The "silver dome" of the Silverdome featured fiberglass panels supported by air pressure from within the stadium. The roof has been repaired numerous times, but now strong winds and rain have blown the teflon panels all across the stadium.
Once bustling and full of life, it now appears as though everyone had just disappeared.
Moss has even overtaken areas inside.
The only living thing inside this VIP Lounge is the moss that is overtaking the ramshackle stadium.
The concessions stand remains vacant. What was once full of beer, hot dogs, pretzels, and snacks is now filled with mold and fungus.
Thousands of dreams came true on that field, but now the building has been left to fester.
What's most haunting is how simple upgrades could have helped keep this a beautiful stadium to watch concerts and games.
Without the protection of the roof above, the seats and aisles have been filled with debris from storms.
Someone left the stadium's engineering and technical equipment intact, as though they planned to come back and use it.
The Canadian company who bought the stadium at auction has yet to announce their plans for the facility.
Hopefully, this gorgeous icon can be returned to its former glory, rather than getting knocked down, never to be seen again.
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