An historical building that has long since gone dark is no new experience for the greater Detroit area. This time around, it’s a piece of sports history that has gone extinct, and fans had a chance to grab their own artifact to remember some of the good times and a lot of the bad. An auction for pieces of the Silverdome’s innards took place last week and signaled the end of an era in Detroit, especially for the Detroit Lions.
The Silverdome was home to the Lions and Detroit Pistons, as well as countless concerts and events. Despite a lack of monumental sports success, with the Lions never winning a championship there and the Pistons winning all of theirs at the Palace of Auburn Hills, the Silverdome was still a massive part of Detroit sports history.
Actually, the first memory I have of the Silverdome is watching the delightfully over the top commercials for monster trucks. I remember the deep-voice announcer at the end of the commercial shouting “at the Silverdome!” I think I thought the Silverdome was some crazy far away land where living monster trucks played and people yelled because of a severe loss of hearing.
The Silverdome’s future is technically still in question, as the Triple Investment Group continues to weigh options for possible revenue on the site. Although most signs seem to be leaning towards eventual demolition, there’s still hope the Silverdome will be put to good use.
The Silverdome’s demise can be read into as much or as little as you want, but I choose to look at it as a clear break from the days of the Lions’ impossibly consistent mediocrity. With a lot of new faces on the field, on the sideline and in the front office, maybe the Lions can hope for a true new era.
Maybe the Lions are actually on the brink of something great and dispensing with some of the Silverdome’s artifacts may bring some good vibrations to the city of Detroit. The Silverdome gave Detroit monster trucks and Barry Sanders; maybe the Lions’ brand new era will give the fanbase a real taste of a championship NFL franchise.