The Pontiac Silverdome opened in 1975 as one of the world’s largest venues, with a nearly 82,000-person capacity. And with final demolition plans beginning to take place on the legendary stadium, it’s only fitting to take a look back at some of the premiere events it hosted throughout its time.
The Silverdome played host to not only the Lions and Pistons, but a plethora of other notable events. Super Bowl Sixteen, the 1988 NBA Finals, Mass for Pope John Paul II, and concerts such as the Rolling Stones’ 1981 tour and Led Zeppelin’s 1977 tour. But perhaps the most notable of the Silverdome’s events is WrestleMania III, which took place in March of 1987 to a then-record crowd of 93,173 people.
Kevin Scramlin of Holly, sat second row at the event, and recounts just how amazing that day was. “One thing I’ll never forget about it was when Hulk Hogan came out; that was the loudest sporting event I’ve ever been to,” Scramlin said, “I’ve never heard that kind of noise inside anywhere.”
WrestleMania III was at the peak of the 1980’s wrestling boom, and featured numerous celebrity guests. “Alice Cooper from Detroit was there with Jake “the Snake” Roberts and (Alice Cooper) had his snake with him in the ring…Aretha sang,” remembers Scramlin. Bob Uecker of Miller Lite commercial fame and Mary Hart of Entertainment Tonight were also in attendance as guest commentators.
But as Scramlin mentioned before, it was the main event bout between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant that WrestleMania III is famous for. “It was the only time that Andre the Giant was ever picked up and body slammed,” Scramlin says. “And not only did he pick him up, but he held him and actually turned around so all four sides of the ring could see him.” When describing the 525-pound Andre, Scramlin says that he was “the biggest human being” he had ever seen in his life.
Thanks for the memories, Silverdome.