Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Splattball City Paintball @ The Packard Plant Previous Next
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Hybridy
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Username: Hybridy

Post Number: 216
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 5:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Anyone here ever played paintball when it was in operation? It seems as though it ended sometime around 2000. Why did it close? It looks as though one portion of an indoor field collapsed. Not sure how recent that was. I'd love to see pics as well.
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7051
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Username: 7051

Post Number: 72
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 5:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Played there in 1990.
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 2745
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 5:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I played there in the late 90s. Either in '97 or '98.
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Traxus
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Username: Traxus

Post Number: 124
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 5:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just shot some footage there this weekend, I'll try to youtube it later this week.
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Diehard
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Username: Diehard

Post Number: 335
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 6:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

All of the Packard businesses were shut down in '98 in a typical city fiasco. The city (council or Archer, don't recall) decided they were going to evict all the tenants and tear the factory down. They didn't have a plan for the site, they just were determined to tear it down, and wouldn't listen to any redevelopment ideas. Turned out the "big plan" was to give the demolition contract to a big political contributor, but he later realized that the place was too well built to implode and would have to be dismantled piece by piece, and his company wasn't equipped to do that. Oops.
So a dozen or so businesses were evicted, and ten years later the whole huge complex is sitting empty. Well, empty only in the official sense. I hear it's gotten really scary for those who dare to venture in.
Too bad, I had a lot of good times out there in the '90s.
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Alley
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Username: Alley

Post Number: 41
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 7:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I LOVE the Packard!!
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Cub
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Username: Cub

Post Number: 125
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 10:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

One of the last things I did with my dad before he died in February of 1999. Splattball City, Great memories.
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Smogboy
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Username: Smogboy

Post Number: 7182
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2008 - 10:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Many a bachelor party started there for me. It was always one of those places where a handful of guys could go on an afternoon before the true "festivities" would begin in the evening.

Some of the more fun features of the place were the boat, the cars, the boxes strewn about, the cubicles and all of the other clutter in there that made it a fun place to have good clean fun.

(Message edited by smogboy on February 25, 2008)
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56packman
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Username: 56packman

Post Number: 2073
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Saturday, March 01, 2008 - 11:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Diehard has a pretty good understanding of the intrigue behind the city-sponsored killing of the Packard plant. A couple of things: the "big political contributor" worked in concert with the city to seize the property, which was in arrears for back-taxes in order to use state-controlled EPA superfund dollars to demolish the property, The contributor's son owned the demolition contractor firm that was no-bid plugged in to level the complex.
The owner was trying to raise cash to satisfy the tax lien, but was systematically denied the usual civil processes that have been in place for over 100 years to protect individuals from having their property taken by the rich and powerful without due process. He lived in the plant, refusing to leave for a long time, knowing that once he left, the city seizure would be complete. The city posted police officers 24/7 for at least two years and rent-a-cops for another six years after that. During that time the building experienced the rampant, wide spread vandalism and scrapping that have brought it to the state of ruin we see today.
There were 117 tenants in the Packard plant, all but one were evicted by the city, by letters sent on city letterhead.
Now the owner wants to pay back the tax lien but will have an even harder time with his income from the property taken away.
The owner was able to raise cash and pay the taxes off. Meanwhile the state of Michigan ended up with the title to the property through the EPA/superfund thing. They cashed the tax check and weeks later signed the deed over to the city of Detroit.
The demo contractor/speculator father and son duo begin demolition of the property, and the owner successfully gets that halted through the courts. It turns out the holder of the bank note for the property under the previous owner was not contacted and did not sign off on any demolition, as is SOP in these cases.
As much as I respect how Dennis Archer built an atmosphere of truly improving downtown, and had a perception of not being outwardly crooked as his predecessor (and successor) operations like this and the riverfront casino deal cloud his history in office.


(Message edited by 56packman on March 01, 2008)

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