Extreme athlete gives Pontiac Silverdome final day of glory

The Pontiac Silverdome opened in 1975 on a 127 acre plot in Pontiac, Michigan.The Silverdome cost $55.7 million to build ($244 million in 2015 dollars) and was designed by architects O’Dell/Hewlett & Luckenbach.

The Silverdome provided seating for more than 82,000 screaming fans who came to cheer on the Detroit Lions, the Detroit Pistons, Super Bowl XVI, early rounds of the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Wreslemania, Supercross, and countless other sporting events. The venue closed in 2009, was reopened briefly in 2010 for a few events and then closed again in 2013.

Detroiturbex.com published a short film titled “The Vacant Pontiac Silverdome” in 2014 which showed how the once great venue had fallen into disrepair. The clip went viral with over 900,000 views.

Tyler Fernegel, a native of Wyandotte, Michigan, recalls the first time he visited the Silverdome. “I was 3 years old. And I had just gotten my first dirt bike. It may have been the first race I ever did — my dad entered me in the amateur Supercross races held at the Silverdome. Amateurs would compete the day before the pro Supercross. I raced there every year until I was 10 years old.”

Fernegel returned to the Silverdome in 2015 along with a production crew from RedBull. Together, they planned and captured an epic BMX run that would serve as a tribute to the athletes and venue that inspired Fernegel to become a professional BMX rider.

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