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Detroit, MI - After 57 years of being owned by the Ford family, the Detroit Lions are being sold. The franchise is being sold for a staggering $2 billion, yes that is Billion with a B. William Clay Ford, who had been a minority owner of the team since 1961, bought out the teams other owners in 1963 for $4.5m and owned the team until he passed away in March 2014, upon which ownership passed along to his wife Martha.
The new ownership group is headlined by Detroit Lions great Barry Sanders, who will also serve as the teams General Manager moving forward. But that's not all, in the official press release Sanders is quoted saying:
It's time to return the Lions franchise back to glory. Detroit is a hardcore city, and playing in the NFC North which used to be known as the "Black and Blue Division" in my playing days due to the physical nature with which teams played, has lead us to plan major renovations to Ford Field that will include a conversion from an enclosed stadium to an outdoor stadium. There is nothing more American than football played outdoors late in the season as you battle for division supremacy.
The Lions have not played an outdoor home game since Thanksgiving 1974 when they played their final game in Tiger Stadium, the Denver Broncos won the game 31-27.
With the decision to renovate to an outdoor stadium, it is expected for Detroit to win a bid for an MLS team as one of the major factors working against them was the fact that the league strongly preferred games played outdoors and on grass.