Pontiac Silverdome Returns with Monster Trucks. Review, and video of the return of Monster Trucks to the once mighty Pontiac Silverdome.
The Silverdome re-opened with the roar of monster trucks on Saturday night I’ve never attended a monster truck event before and I was more than a little curious to see how the 35 year old Silverdome was holding up. I also was curious to see if the new owner, Triple Investment Group, was owning up to his promise of “affordable family fun” in his bid to revive the stadium as a big-event venue.
Pontiac Silverdome Returns with Monster Trucks Video
It was hard for me not be a little nostalgic going back to “the dome.” What other building can match its strange history? It’s held: Led Zeppelin, Elvis Presley, Barry Sanders, Pope John Paul II, Isaih Thomas, NASL Soccer, World Cup Soccer, Wrestlemania, The Who, Big Foot, high school football titles, The Michigan Panthers, Promisekeepers, The Rolling Stones, U2, Van Halen and a Super Bowl! Even my own high school graduation ceremony took place in the west end zone.
I’m not sure what I was expecting on Saturday’s Domination in the Dome but I was pleasantly surprised overall that the building was in solid shape and the event seemed very well-planned for a first time endeavor. The building was fairly clean and the bathrooms looked like they’d been well taken care of. Security, parking and other personnel was more than ample and I was also impressed that they did a thorough job with concessions. Parking was relative cheap at $10 and, as promised, the concession prices received mixed reviews. I was expecting cheaper pricing than what was offered. Some items like soft pretzels and hot dogs clocked in slightly cheaper than other facilities like The Palace but some were much higher. Large beers were $16.00! I’m hoping they rethink the price structure of some of the concession items.
There were a few hiccups. First, the PA system they had for this event was atrocious. I’m sure it’s a work in progress but listening to the under-powered PA system cranked up on Saturday reminded me how poor the acoustics of the Silverdome are and took me back to my old Silverdome concert days. I swear, music in that place sounds like an AM radio cranked to 10 sitting inside a tin shed on top of a concrete parking lot! The system they have now needs a tremendous upgrade. Cottage Inn landed sponsorship to sell pizza from a concession stand and were doing brisk business. The lines were tremendous to get a pizza. I’m sure they’ll have to open more than 1 stand for future events. The old scoreboards and jumbotron left by the Lions has been rendered obsolete. The working screen they currently have at the Silverdome looks like a 13 inch black and white television compared to what Ford Field provides. Hopefully that upgrade is on the to-do list as well. Many patrons were also complaining about the heat. It had to have been below 60 degrees in the building at the start of the event. I actually went into this event expecting some problems and I was surprised that there wasn’t more.
Blemishes aside, I think it’s great for Oakland County and Metro Detroit that the Pontiac Silverdome is back in business. They had a nice draw in attendance on Saturday and fans and workers seemed to be genuinely thrilled that the Silverdome is back. I’m sure it’s a can’t miss deal for Triple Sports & Entertainment. They bought the Silverdome for $583,000 (it was built at a cost of $55.7 million in 1975). That’s the equivalent of buying a $250,000 house now and selling it for $2,600 in 35 years. It’s hard to think they’d lose money on their investment even if they had to bail out and put it up for sale again. Failing though, is not in their plans. From our conversations with them, they speak passionately about investing in the building to bring world class family entertainment back to the dome. They seem to be well on their way. Whether or not the Silverdome can compete with Palace Sports and Entertainment, Olympia Entertainment and Ford Field remains to be seen. The competition for events in Metro Detroit is fierce and our current economy is even tougher. There is plenty of work to do.
While the long-term future of the Silverdome isn’t exactly set in stone, the short-term forecast looks like a series of baby steps heading toward a positive direction. Saturday’s “Domination in the Dome” event came off quite well despite some problems and there are other budget-friendly events on the horizon. Drive-in movies return to the Silverdome parking lot April 23rd. “Green Soccer Bowl” featuring World Cup soccer talent arrives next month. Other upcoming events include: concerts, rodeos and mixed martial arts events. Hopefully Triple Sports & Entertainment sticks with their commitment. If they do, hopefully bigger events follow. There are many items the new management team has to tweak but I think they’re off to a decent start. I’m looking forward to see what they do next.