Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Pontiac Silverdome is a domed stadium in Pontiac, Michigan, in the suburbs of Detroit. It hosted the Detroit Lions of the NFL from 1975-2001, the Detroit Pistons of the NBA from 1978-1988, the Michigan Panthers of the USFL from 1983-1984 and four first-round games during the 1994 World Cup. For the World Cup games, a grass surface was laid down on top of wooden pallets atop the artificial turf that was usually used. It was the first time that World Cup games were played indoors.
The decision to build a domed stadium in Detroit took place after a late-season football game at Tiger Stadium resulted in a half-dozen pairs of shoes being lost beneath the muddy surface and not recovered until the next spring. Completed in 1975 at a cost of $55.7 million, the Silverdome sat 80,311. It contained 102 luxury suites and 7,384 club seats.
The roof was built of canvas and supported by steel girders. The original roof had to be replaced after a freak snowstorm on March 4, 1985 caused extensive structural damage. Being one of the largest stadiums in the NFL and also a domed stadium, the Silverdome was known for the extremely loud noise that the fans were capable of producing when the stands were filled. The biggest crowd to ever gather there for a sporting event was on March 31, 1987 for WWF WrestleMania III, when 93,173 fans attended to see Hulk Hogan take on Andre The Giant.
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