World of Sport

Photos of ruined iconic stadium both haunting and heartbreaking

World of Sport

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For more than 20 years, the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit hosted many of the greatest spectacles. The World Cup, The Super Bowl and the NBA Finals took place there. Led Zeppelin and Pope John Paul II both took the stage there, though not together. Wrestlemania III set a record for indoor attendance at a sporting event in America there.

Now? There's nothing there.

Detroiturbex.com, a website devoted to the preservation of fading Detroit-area landmarks, has shined a spotlight on the now-abandoned Silverdome, and what's in view isn't pretty. The stadium's fabric roof has collapsed, exposing the field below to the elements. The seats will be torn out and sold later this year. The suites are being left to rot.

Curbed features Detroiturbex's complete photo gallery, 54 pictures documenting the sad end of what was once of the world's most iconic stadiums. The building has sat open to nature for years; the Detroit Lions NFL teams haven't played there since 2002, and there hasn't been an event since 2011. A 2012 storm shredded the roof, leaving the stadium in its current decrepit state.

Detroiturbex documents the decline and fall of the stadium in painful detail, from its hopeful origins in the '60s and '70s to its 2009 sale for less than $600,000 (£356,000).

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Pontiac Silverdome (via Detroiturbex.com)

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Pontiac Silverdome (via Detroiturbex.com)

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Pontiac Silverdome (via Detroiturbex.com)

Tough to see. It's as much a cautionary tale for today's stadiums as it is a sad legacy for the Detroit area which struggled to cope with the city's struggling automotive industry.

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Better days: How the Pontiac Silverdome looked prior to the USA's match with Roy Hodgson's Switzerland at the 1994 World Cup finals.

We've seen such situations in England too - there is something undeniably heartbreaking about seeing a sports ground that meant so much to so many people destroyed or left derelict.

Grounds with decades of history replaced by shiny all-seater stadiums that all look the same.

Here are some British examples below.

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McCain Stadium, Scarborough (Flickr: Andrew Stopford)

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Feethams, Darlington (Photobucket)

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Firs Park, East Stirlingshire F.C (Abandoned Scotland)

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Belle Vue, Doncaster (Flickr: Paul Howell)

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Ninian Park, Cardiff after demolition (Getty)

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