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Pontiac Silverdome Sold for Less Than a House

This article was written by in Real Estate and Home. 6 comments.

A year ago, a group of investors offered $20 million to buy the Pontiac Silverdome, the seldom-used, dome stadium that used to be the home for the Detroit Pistons and Michigan Panthers. The deal eventually fell through. In a sign of the state of the commercial real estate market, the winning bid for the Silverdome in auction this week was $583,000.

It cost $55.7 million to build the stadium 35 years ago, but today the location where Pink Floyd surprised fans in 1994 by playing Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety for the first time since 1975 is worth less than the new houses down the street from me.

The lucky buyer is a Canadian company that is said to want to bring soccer to Detroit, but Major League Soccer disavowed any knowledge of these plans.

The whole situation seems suspect. What happened in the last year to drive the market price down from $20 million to less than a McMansion? Did the Canadians get a deal that’s too good to be true? Or should this be expected considering Pontiac’s proximity to Detroit, a city in desperate need of economic recovery?

Photo credit: Dave Hogg
Silverdome sale price disappoints, Mike Martindale, November 17, 2009

Updated January 16, 2010 and originally published November 18, 2009. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Erica Douglass

Maybe they intend to rezone it and use it for a different purpose? Either way, a hell of a deal.


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avatar Jim

But I’m not really surprised at the low sale price. Pontiac is 30 minutes from Detroit. Detroits economy is in horrible shape. They had an auction of 100′s of foreclosed houses in Detroit and a lot of them failed to sell for even the $500 minimum bid. Of course most of those houses that didn’t sell were in horrible shape.

Maybe the stadium needs tons of major repairs and maintenance work? If it would cost say $10M to renovate the place to get it into shape then I could see it being sold for next to nothing given the state of the local economy.

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avatar Tom Dziubek

Imagine the kind of party you could throw in there.

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avatar jammer(six)

I’d like to buy it and turn it into a huge paintball arena. :-)

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avatar Strider

Given that several homes in the “Murder City” have sold for $1, Pontiac should consider itself lucky. As for the whiners suing to block the sale, they couldn’t even scrounge up the $250K auction deposit.

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avatar wylerassociate

As someone who grew up in metro detroit, I can give some insight. The Pontiac Silverdome is owned by the city of Pontiac, so when the detroit lions left for downtown detroit in 2002 the city should have sold the property and turned it into an industrial complex to encourage more businesses to grow/relocate and add jobs. But the worthless mayor and city council wanted kickbacks from prospective buyers and the silverdome was used for drive in movies and other nonsense. It’s no surprise that Detroit and Pontiac are such warzones with high unemployment, horrible schools, high crime rates and million dollar budget deficits.

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