The new owners of the Pontiac Silverdome — former home of the Detroit Lions — hope to turn the arena into a destination for Major League Soccer games.

The Apostolopoulos family bought the 80,300-seat arena last year for $583,000. They reportedly plan to renovate the arena to make it a top facility for professional soccer teams and to make Detroit an international destination for soccer fans.

Last Friday the arena hosted a game between two top European soccer teams, AC Milan and Panathinaikos FC, marking the arena’s largest event since the National Football League’s Detroit Lions left in 2002. The event drew an estimated 30,500 attendees.

The owners were quoted in reports as saying they “hope the game will be remembered as the spark that put the area back on the path of establishing Detroit as a soccer market.”

Meanwhile, an upcoming convention has sparked the ire of Pontiac officials and police. The Silverdome at the end of October will host the first International Cannabis Convention and Halloween Harmony & Harvest Fest.

“I know these gentlemen are fairly new to this community, but it is not a great way to ingratiate yourself by highlighting the joys of marijuana smoking,” L. Brooks Patterson, longtime executive of Oakland County, told a local paper.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.