Artists Rendering of the Pontiac Stadium - 1971

History of Inception and Planning

Panoramic indoor view from the main concourse, 50 yard line.

In 1957, eighteen years before the Detroit Lions played their first game in the new stadium, the idea of a sports stadium for metropolitan Detroit was proposed and sent to the Michigan Legislature to build a sports facility via an Olympic Games Authority. In 1962 and 1964, a Detroit stadium proposal for the State Fair Grounds was discussed for a 1968 Olympic Games bid.

In 1965 (view article below), the idea of a stadium, conceived by a University of Detroit Professor of Architecture was incorporated in a proposal for downtown redevelopment  for the city of Pontiac, MI. However, actual implementation of the idea did not take place until February 1968, when  an unofficial committee was formed by Detroit Mayor Jerome Cavanagh to make recommendations on the location and construction of a Detroit area stadium.  

A new expanded and official Metropolitan Stadium Committee, consisting of C. Don Davidson, Detroit Lions owner William Clay Ford, and other locally -prominent businessmen was organized to discuss a stadium on a 155 acre site located at the intersection of I-75 and M-59, on land owned by the Pontiac School District. The Metropolitan Stadium Committee voted unanimously for the Pontiac site.

C. Don Davidson - Visionary, Chief Project
 Designer, Architect of Pontiac Silverdome 
By the following year, the group had become incorporated as the City of Pontiac Stadium Building Authority, with members appointed by the city commission which spent the greater part of 1969 completing the necessary economic feasibility studies in constructing such a stadium. The city informed the Detroit Lions and the Detroit Tigers professional franchises that a stadium could be built and financed in Pontiac.

A Sociological View of an All American City (page II-98)
An Environmental analysis of a central business area (page 64 of 286)

From the mid 60's until about 1980, Pontiac's own, Don Davidson (1929-1987),  a college professor, designer, urban planner, architect and newspaper owner/publisher designed and coordinated many developments across the nation. Professor Davidson taught architecture and urban planning at the University of Detroit. He was best known for two local projects, the Pontiac Silverdome Stadium and the Pontiac Plan,
 - Pontiac Times, Dec. 7, 1973

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Super Bowl Pontiac Host Committee Brochure  - 'PONTIAC SUPER BLAST' -  January 1982

Professor Davidson at urban renewal presentation - ca 1966

A Sports Writer's view of the Pontiac Silverdome Stadium in its heyday
"The Taj Mahal of all Football Stadia"

City to Push for Stadium


Rendering of a proposed dual stadium with a sliding dome 
Pontiac, MI. Feb. 2 (*1969) -- Artists rendering of the twin stadium complex proposed near the city of
Pontiac in the area of M-59 and I-75. The Detroit Lions yesterday decided to begin negotiations with the
Pontiac Stadium Authority. The football stadium is to the left.

Detroit News

Model of a dual stadium complex that was under consideration as a future home for the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions.  This proposal, minus a moving dome (later considered impractical)  would eventually become a reality and would be known as the 'Truman Sports Complex' in Kansas City. -  Date of proposal, July 1969 

William Clay Ford, Detroit Lions committed to Pontiac (Silverdome) Stadium - 1971

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