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Pontiac Silverdome demolition could start within 45 days

The end of the Pontiac Silverdome begins this summer.

In this May 12, 2014, photo, the interior of the Pontiac Silverdome is seen in Pontiac, Mich.

The end of the Pontiac Silverdome begins this summer.

Richard Adamo, president of Detroit-based contractor Adamo Group, said Friday that his demolition crews hope to start tackling the empty sports venue within 45 days. The firm is under private contract with the Silverdome's owner, Triple Investment Group, and has applied for a demolition permit from the City of Pontiac.

Adam said he is just waiting for utility companies to disconnect all electricity, gas and water from the 127-acre site before the permit can be issued.

"Within 45 days, there should be some significant demolition activity going on," Adamo said in a phone interview. The entire process — including filling and grating the hole —should take about a year.

The demolition will be done with hydraulic excavators and accomplished in sections. "I don't really see any reason to implode at this time," he said.

Demolition was mandated by a court judgment in March from a 50th District Court judge in a nuisance abatement case that was brought by the city against Triple Investment Group.

The Silverdome opened in 1975 and has been used only sporadically since 2002, when the NFL's Detroit Lions moved to Ford Field in Detroit. The stadium's inflatable roof was damaged in a winter storm several years ago, exposing everything inside and speeding its physical decay.

Triple Investment Group bought the Silverdome from the city in a 2009 auction for $583,000. The firm is controlled by the family of Canadian developer Andreas Apostolopoulos.

After failing to find a buyer for the stadium site, the firm announced a possible spring 2016 demolition, but that date slipped.

"Once the building is gone, it will be a nice piece of land for someone to do something there," Adamo said, adding that the hundreds of Volkswagen diesel cars and crossovers parked around the stadium will be removed.

The vehicles are those that Volkswagen was forced to buy back from customers following its diesel emissions scandal.

While the Silverdome is a big project for the Adamo Group, it's not the firm's largest demolition.

Adamo said their biggest teardown was the 1980-81 razing of the Dodge Main car plant in Hamtramck. In fact, the firm is now in the middle of demolishing an even larger former NFL stadium: the Georgia Dome, last home to the Atlanta Falcons.

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