Professional sports will soon return to the Pontiac Silverdome with a professional sports league based in St. Clair Shores.
The American Ultimate Disc League began its inaugural season Saturday with eight teams in the Midwest and Northeast. Included in the league is the local Detroit Mechanix.
The sport, which is played by nearly 5 million people in the United States and many more internationally, is similar to soccer and lacrosse and played on a 100-yard field.
But unlike those sports, which are low scoring, ultimate disc is a fast-paced and high scoring game.
Games feature 12 players, with seven players on the field per team, with four 12-minute quarters.
Teams pass the disc between the players, and once a player catches the disc, they can pivot but must throw the disc to move the play forward.
Play continues until a player catches the disc in the 20-yard end zone.And the entire league is run out of Advanced Training Techniques in St. Clair Shores.
"The league is a testament to digital media," said Brent Steepe, owner and director of the Mechanix and Advanced Training Techniques, who uses video conferencing and other electronic mediums to establish the league. "It has been a great opportunity to operate as one."
Ultimate disc was invented in 1968, and has grown to nearly 5 million participants in the U.S. and nearly 15 million nationwide.
"Everybody involved with the league is very excited to bring this great sport to the next level," AUDL founder Josh Moore said.
"This has been one of the fastest growing sports for participants in America and we will showcase the sport to the general public with some of the very best talent in the game today," Moore said in a release. "For those individuals that have not seen an Ultimate game played at its highest level, they are in for an exciting surprise."
The Mechanix lost their first game Saturday 19-17 to the Bluegrass Revolution. Detroit welcomes Rhode Island Rampage at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Silverdome. For information, and tickets, visit the team website.
In addition to the play on the field, teams also give back to local charities.
"We are working to dispel the myth of Detroit is dead and to attend a professional sporting event you need to remortgage a home," Steepe said.