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MICHIGAN REP WANTS LIONS TO PAY FOR SILVERDOME SUBSIDIES
Published August 27, 1996
In the wake of the Lions proposed move back to downtown Detroit, State Rep. Deborah Whyman plans to introduce a bill when the MI Legislature reconvenes September 12 that would require the Lions to reimburse the state about $13.9M in taxpayer-funded subsidies paid out over 19 years to help fund the Silverdome, according to Craig Garrett of the DETROIT NEWS. Lions officials responded to Whyman's plans by saying the Silverdome has generated positive benefits for the state, adding in statement, "The Silverdome ... has generated more than $200 million in revenues since it opened [in '75]. The $13.9 million state subsidy, which ended in 1992, went directly to the city of Pontiac, with none of the subsidy going to the Detroit Lions" (DETROIT NEWS, 8/27). The DETROIT NEWS' Brian Harmon reports the Pontiac Stadium Building Authority still owes $28M on municipal bonds that helped pay for the Silverdome and that Oakland County taxpayers can expect to pay at least $7M of that tab (DETROIT NEWS, 8/27). A DETROIT NEWS chart indicates Pontiac taxpayers "paid most of the costs" of the Silverdome as of '95 -- approximately $49,673,638 (DETROIT NEWS, 8/27). SAVE THE SILVERDOME: Ron French of the DETROIT NEWS eyes "ways to keep the Silverdome from being bulldozed." Ideas include turning the facility into an industrial park, an amusement park, an upscale mall, an "ultimate Metro Detroit night spot," or a casino (DETROIT NEWS, 8/27). .