A marvel of 1970s-era engineering, the stadium covered by a 10-acre, Teflon-covered roof supported by air once was THE place to see big events -- the Super Bowl, the NBA finals, the World Cup, WrestleMania [and Elvis on New Years Eve 1975].
Nowadays, the 80,000-seat venue north of Detroit is a shell of its former self. The unforgiving Michigan weather shredded its roof, long strands of which hang from high above or are crumpled on the stadium floor.
Unmentioned in this ESPN account is that the Silverdome was another civic boosterism scheme that was built with $55 million--1975 dollars (~$225M current)--of taxpayers money. It eventually was sold to a private investor for about half a million dollars in 2009, because;
The elements have wreaked havoc. Without electricity, the stadium's innards are dark and mold-infested. The weed-covered turf, on which [Lion Barry] Sanders once made tacklers look silly, is floating on a foot of water like an oversized lily pad. Workers scared off a pair of foxes living underneath the roof remnants that cover a section of Honolulu blue chairs in the lower bowl.
The Silverdome's current owner -- an investment company that tried to revive interest by holding events such as soccer and boxing in recent years -- is determined to cash in before it's too late, putting pretty much anything and everything inside up for auction starting on Wednesday.
"Every item starts at $5. If we don't get that, it goes in the garbage," said Jim Passeno of RJM Auctions, which is handling the online auction that runs through May 29.