Haunting photos show how run-down the abandoned Silverdome has become

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Photography by Johnny Joo

After 40 years, the former stadium of the Detroit Lions will be torn down this spring, according to The Detroit News.

The massive building cost $55.7 million to build when it was first constructed back in 1975. It hosted Super Bowl XVI in 1982, a Michael Jackson Victory Tour concert in 1984, the 1994 FIFA World Cup, and the legendary Wrestlemania III in 1987.

But by 2002, the Detroit Lions had moved into Ford Field in downtown Detroit and the Silverdome was abandoned.

Since then, it’s been used only sporadically and suffered major damage after a 2013 winter storm destroyed its inflatable roof.

Photographer Johnny Joo gained access to the Silverdome back in 2014 and 2015. He toured the stadium with friends and shared his amazing pictures of the now-defunct building with Tech Insider.


The Silverdome will be demolished this spring 2016 after sitting virtually abandoned since 2002.

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Photography by Johnny Joo

Source: Detroit Free Press


In its heyday, it could seat more than 80,300 people.

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Photography by Johnny Joo

Source: Detroit Free Press


The building was home to the Detroit Lions from 1975 until 2002 and to the Detroit Pistons from 1978 until 1988.

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Photography by Johnny Joo

Source: Detroit Free Press


It’s also been the location of a Super Bowl, a Michael Jackson concert, a 1987 mass conducted by Pope John Paul II, and the 1994 FIFA World Cup, just to name a few.

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Photography by Johnny Joo

Source: Detroit Free Press


The Detroit Lions left for Ford Field in 2002. In 2009, the building was sold at auction to a private owner for $583,000.

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Photography by Johnny Joo

Source: Detroit Free Press


In 2013, the building’s inflatable roof was damaged during a winter storm. Scraps of the roof lay around the stadium today.

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Photography by Johnny Joo

Source: Detroit Free Press


Photographer Johnny Joo got access in 2014 and 2015 to take pictures of the abandoned property.

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Photography by Johnny Joo

His photos show that the building has significant damage from the elements.

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Photography by Johnny Joo

In addition, 19-year-old budding BMX rider and Michigan native Tyler Fernengel used the abandoned stadium to make a video for Red Bull.

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Red Bull

Source: Red Bull


The shoot created some incredible visuals.

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Red Bull

Fernengel even leaped out of suites into the stands.


The stadium is gutted after copper wiring, scoreboards, and other bits of memorabilia were all sold at an auction by the current owners.

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Photography by Johnny Joo

Source: Detroit Free Press


What remains behind is trash and everything that didn’t get sold.

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Photography by Johnny Joo

Even the offices in the stadium now sit abandoned.

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Photography by Johnny Joo

As well as the team locker rooms and stadium bathrooms.

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Photography by Johnny Joo

The 127 acres the building sits on are now more valuable than the stadium itself.

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Photography by Johnny Joo

Source: Detroit Free Press


Currently, the land is being leased to a soccer league and car dealership.

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Photography by Johnny Joo

Source: Detroit Free Press


The stadium looks like it has been through a war.

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Red Bull

But this spring, the private owners intend to raze the Silverdome.

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Photography by Johnny Joo

Source: Detroit Free Press


The razing will take four to six months to complete.

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Photography by Johnny Joo

Source: Detroit Free Press


Then they plan to sell the land.

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Photography by Johnny Joo

Source: Detroit Free Press


One last look at the Silverdome.

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Photography by Johnny Joo

See more of Johnny Joo’s work on his website and Facebook.


Here is the entire Red Bull video.


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Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

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