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Abandoned Outdoor Auditorium

Pictures courtesy of

The Rossford Amphitheater project was first announced on February 27th, 1999. The two main components were to be a hockey arena for the AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, and a 15,000 seat open-air amphitheater. It was an ambitious plan that went into action prematurely, relying on loans to start construction while waiting for a financing deal to the tune of 48 million dollars to be approved. The financing never went through, and the project ground to a halt. 6 Years later the property and its half-completed structures were sold off at a police auction. The fate of the project isn't clear; land around the arena is attracting retailers and increasing in value. Rumor has it that the new owner intends to demolish the remains and sell it to a big-box retailer.

I'd passed by the site many times when I worked in the area, fascinated by its peculiar dormant state. This site presented a challenge in that it was almost completely exposed on all sides, with two busy roads and a freeway running close by. The situation was further complicated by a nearby police station, and several active businesses. For the last year or so I tried to contact the owner of the property to see if they would let me photograph, but had little success. It was just by chance that today the local police were on the scene of an accident while I was in the area, so I decided to take a chance and check it out. Approaching it from the south takes you across an open field and a swamp, but also gives you cover from the busy roads and businesses.

Abandoned construction materials littered the site.

Unfinished restrooms.

Pan-o-ramic view of the site, stitched together from 15 different images using PTGui (fantastic piece of software). Unfinished hockey arena on the left, amphitheater on the right.

We had been getting a lot of rain recently, turning the area beneath the pavilion into quicksand.

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