Another Great Government MegaFlop

Sunday, December 6, 2009
Posted in category Socialist Corporatism

Like almost every sports stadium, Michigan’s Pontiac Silverdome was built for wealthy sports team owners and paid for by taxpayers, to the tune of $55 million in 1975. Since the sale of the dome a couple of weeks ago, locals are still talking about it because of the $583,000 sale price. Sold to the highest bidder! This monstrous thing has been sitting empty, gathering dust, and costing taxpayers a couple million per year to maintain. But when the city of Detroit gave the Lions football team a great deal – with taxpayer dollars – to go back to the city, it was painless to walk away from a $55 million stadium that team owners never had to purchase with their own cash.

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4 Responses to Another Great Government MegaFlop

  1. Dan says:

    December 6th, 2009 at 11:03 am

    I always hate when billionaires receive welfare for their stadiums and the moron citizens accept it in the form of higher taxes because they believe that it is good for the local economy. For example, the new Dallas Cowboys stadium that was partly funded with taxes. Why the hell don’t the local citizens demand these billionaires actually pay for their stuff with their own money?

  2. S.M. Oliva says:

    December 6th, 2009 at 11:52 am

    It helps that the NFL has a dedicated media contingent continuously spreading the myth that demand for high-priced NFL games is essentially inelastic. Nobody questions the increasing number of league-imposed “blackouts,” the moving of “home” games to non-U.S. stadiums, or the idiotic proposal to expand the regular season to 18 games. The state has made the NFL incapable of failing.

  3. Poots says:

    December 6th, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    And who recalls the collapse of the vaunted dome a year or two after the stadium was completed?

    I went to work for the company that made the dome a few years after the incident and they were still laughing about it.

    It seems that AFTER the final design Detroit’s city counsel decided to add some additional lights to the stadium. The problem was that the support structure for the lights was between the cradle that was designed to handle the emergency collapse of the roof in the event of a too heavy snow load.

    The roof was designed to handle a specific snow load and if it exceeded that load it would simply settle down into a cradle designed to support it until it could be re-inflated.

    The additional lights put steel I-beams directly in the path of the support cradle.

    The roof structure company (I think they were called Bird-Air Structures at the time) sent countless letters and made numerous appeals to the Detroit City Counsel to NOT allow this obstruction to the design. They pleaded that IF the snow load collapsed the roof as was expected and was planned for in the design, that the steel I-beams of the added lights would tear it to shreds.

    As you might expect from tax feeders, the entire of Detroit’s City Council simply ignored the warnings and pleas from the roof manufacturer.

    Guess what?

    Within a year or two of completion (at taxpayer expense) there was a heavy snow that collapsed the roof right into the I-beams of the light structure and it tore the roof to pieces.

    As you would expect from political liars and thieves there was an outcry over the terrible loss and the roof builder was crucified in the Detroit press UNTILL they started finding all of the letters and warnings from the roof manufacturer to NOT do what they did!

    At that point of course it all got swept under the rug. Nothing to see here. Just an act of God. Move along.

    What passes for a news media played their part in the scam and the whole story went away. The roof company got a contract to build a new roof and suddenly Detroit’s city council decided that maybe those light structures should be moved after all.

    And the taxpayer got stuck with the bill… Not just once, but TWICE!


  4. Shannon says:

    December 6th, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    More tax dollars spent on ghost outlets, where people aren’t going. it is just like what has happened to shopping malls. The commercial real estate collapse was unavoidable. How sad, in a dive such as Pontiac, to see money pumped into these to-big-to-fail “landmarks” that have no future rather than actually improve the community itself.

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