PONTIAC, Mich. -- The roof of the Pontiac Silverdome, home of the Detroit Pistons and the Detroit Lions, collapsed under the weight of heavy snow and ice Monday.
A Lions spokeswoman said several members of the NFL team were working out in the Silverdome when the synthetic fabric roof caved in just before noon, but there were no injuries.
Three NBA games were rescheduled, including Monday night's scheduled game between the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks. Milwaukee will instead visit the Pistons April 7 at the Superdome. The Pistons' game against the New York Knicks Wednesday night will be played at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. The Utah Jazz, who were supposed to visit the Pistons Friday night, will play Thursday night instead at the Joe Louis Arena.
Heavy, wet snow started falling in the Detroit area Sunday night. Maintenance crews fought a losing battle to keep the stadium's inflatable roof free of ice and snow, but the panels that make up the roof finally gave way.
'Eight inches of snow did considerable damage to some of the concrete and seating area in the Silverdome and extensive damage to the Detoit Pistons' floor,' Lions spokesman Don Kramer said.
Damage to both the exterior and the interior was described as considerable. There was no immediate dollar damage of the estimate, but stadium officials planned to meet Monday night to discuss the situation.
Clayton Jones, a Silverdome spokesman, said it was possible the stadium could be opened within a week. He said the structure of the building was not damaged, but that seven roof panels would have to be replaced.
Officials said there were three large rips in the roof and several smaller ones. A big section of concrete fell in and tore out a section of the seats. Snow and rain fell through the torn roof and damaged the basketball floor and electronic scoreboard.
A tornado tore off a section of the Silverdome's roof in 1978.