Once a bustling metropolis that housed at many as 1.8 million residents within city limits back in 1950, urban flight has left Detroit bereft, with a population that has sunk to current levels below 1 million. Scores of abandoned buildings mar the grim downtown landscape that surrounds the historic stadium, which was home of countless games and historic baseball legends (Ty Cobb, Hank Greenberg) from 1912 to 1999.
With scrap metal fetching all-time high prices (an increase of 251 percent in five years, according to CBS), recycling the stadium's steel made plenty of sense. Indeed, the City of Detroit didn't have to pay a penny to begin demolition, which began in June. Farrow Group Inc. and MCM Management Corp., partners in the demolition/recycling project, should turn a handsome profit by parting out and selling off Tiger Stadium as scrap material. Also being recycled are copper, aluminum, and concrete, the last of which will be used as road fill for construction and paving projects. In all, some 11.4 million pounds of steel are expected to be gleaned from the stadium.
In addition to heading to locales as far as Turkey, China, and Canada, plenty of the steel will end up in cars made by the Big Three. Domestic locations for the steel include the SeverStal steel mill at the River Rouge industrial complex in Dearborn and the North Star BlueScope Steel mill in Delta, Ohio. As Severstal is a supplier for Chrysler, Ford, and GM, it's more than likely that bits of the steel beams that helped hold the Tiger stadium together will end up in parts, pieces, and panels of cars from the Big Three.--Colin Mathews