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Indoor racetrack proposed for Michigan\'s Silverdome

January 11, 2008

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A Detroit-area attorney, who appears to be the front-runner to purchase the Pontiac Silverdome, the former home of the Detroit Lions and Pistons, has proposed turning the stadium into an indoor Thoroughbred racetrack and casino called Silver Stallion Racino.


A story in Friday’s Detroit News states the $12 million bid by attorney H. Wallace Parker, a member of the Michigan Thoroughbred Breeders Association, to purchase the Silverdome was the highest among three finalists. The city of Pontiac has now entered negotiations with Parker in an effort to secure a better price for the 127 1/2-acre property, according to a city attorney.


Located about a half-hour drive from downtown Detroit, the 80,000-plus seat domed Silverdome opened in 1975 and was home to the Pistons until the team moved to the Palace of Auburn Hills and the Lions, who moved to Ford Field in 2002.


Thoroughbred owner Jerry Campbell was granted approval by the Office of Michigan Racing Commissioner last fall to build a new Thoroughbred racetrack called Pinnacle Downs near Metropolitan Airport. The track is scheduled to open this July although there are some observers who believe that timeframe may not be able to be met.
Parker has not yet applied to the Office of Michigan Racing Commissioner for a racing license. Also, expanding gaming is not currently allowed at racetracks in Michigan.
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