PONTIAC, MI (AP) – A partial implosion of the Silverdome failed to bring down the upper section of the Detroit Lions’ former home as intended Sunday as demolition of the stadium began.
Demolition company Adamo said the blasts in Pontiac, Michigan, did weaken the Silverdome and it could still fall, but it’s unclear when that might happen.
Rick Cuppetilli, executive vice president with Adamo, told the Detroit Free Press that 10 percent of the explosive charges failed to detonate due to wiring issues that crews were investigating.
Unless gravity causes the building to fall on its own, excavators will start taking down the structure this week, he said.
For thousands of onlookers who came out on a cold morning in hopes of seeing a dramatic collapse, the failure was a letdown. Jessica Landino made a 50-mile (80-kilometer) trip from Algonac, Michigan, with her 11-year-old and 7-year-old sons, stopping along the way in Rochester to pick up her mother.
“I’m a little disappointed,” Landino told The Detroit News.
The Lions played in suburban Detroit from 1975 through 2001. The Silverdome also was the home of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons.
A look at the venue’s most memorable moments:
JAN. 24, 1982: 49ERS WIN SUPER BOWL
The Super Bowl came north to the Detroit area, and although the game is remembered largely for the snow and the traffic , it was also the first championship for Joe Montana and Bill Walsh. San Francisco beat Cincinnati 26-21.
MARCH 29, 1987: WRESTLEMANIA
A crowd of 93,173 was on hand for Wrestlemania III, with Hulk Hogan taking on Andre the Giant in the main event. Aretha Franklin sang “America the Beautiful” and Bob Uecker was a guest ring announcer.
SEPT. 19, 1987: THE POPE VISITS
Pope John Paul II ended his U.S. tour in the Detroit area, and Vice President George Bush was part of a full house at the Silverdome for Mass. More than 90,000 people were on hand.
JAN. 29, 1988: NBA RECORD
The Pistons beat the Boston Celtics 125-108 in front of 61,983, an NBA attendance record that stood for more than a decade. Detroit would go on to make the NBA Finals that season, the team’s last at the Silverdome before moving to The Palace of Auburn Hills.
JAN. 5, 1992: LONG TIME COMING
Erik Kramer threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Lions over the Dallas Cowboys 38-6 in what is still the franchise’s lone playoff victory since winning the NFL title in 1957. Barry Sanders got into the act as well with a 47-yard touchdown run late in the game.
JUNE 18, 1994: SOCCER UNDER THE ROOF
In the first World Cup soccer match played inside a dome, the United States and Switzerland played to a 1-1 draw in hot, humid conditions. In their first game as World Cup hosts, the Americans fell behind before Eric Wynalda tied it on a free kick.
DEC. 21, 1997: BARRY AND REGGIE
Sanders surpassed 2,000 yards rushing for the season, and the Lions wrapped up a playoff berth with a 13-10 victory over the New York Jets. But Detroit’s regular-season finale took a frightening turn when Lions linebacker Reggie Brown was taken off the field in an ambulance with a severe neck injury.