Silverdome's New Owner To Be Announced

fromWDET

The Silverdome is up for sale, but the aging stadium in Pontiac, Mich., hasn't attracted many buyers. The economically depressed city is to announce Friday who the winning bidder was — or even if anyone bid at all.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

There's a place in Michigan that has hosted a pope, the Super Bowl, even professional wrestlers. The Pontiac Silverdome is now just a large empty house in a city short of cash.

As Rob St. Mary from member station WDET reports, it's up for sale.

ROB ST. MARY: The Pontiac Silverdome is one of the largest professional sports stadiums in the U.S. and is former home of the Detroit Lions football team and the Pistons basketball team

(Soundbite of Auction Network video)

Unidentified Man: Thanks to the city of Pontiac, you have the opportunity to own this internationally noted structure, its contents, and the land surrounding it.

ST. MARY: Or you did if you got your sealed bid in before yesterday, according to this video by the Auction Network. The 127 acre site has sat vacant since 2002 and it costs Pontiac over a million and a half dollars a year in upkeep. Earlier attempts to sell the Silverdome have failed, making it one of metro Detroit's largest white elephants.

After Pontiac landed in receivership this year, the state-appointed financial manager put the stadium up for auction. In a state with the nation's highest unemployment rate, incoming Pontiac Mayor Leon Jukowski says he'd like to see the 34-year-old dome become a beacon to a better tomorrow.

Mayor LEON JUKOWSKI (Pontiac): I'd like to see us get a $100 million and have somebody develop it and bring so many jobs that we can't even fill them all.

(Soundbite of laughter)

ST. MARY: The winner of the Silverdome auction could be announced sometime today.

For NPR News, I'm Rob St. Mary in Detroit.

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