PONTIAC, MI-The days of sporting events at the Pontiac Silverdome are not over. A new professional hockey league says its Detroit franchise will play home games at the Silverdome next season.

The World Hockey Association expects to begin play this fall and has plans for 38 home games at the Silverdome, which has been mostly empty since the Detroit Lions moved to Ford Field in Detroit about a two years ago.

The new Detroit team does not yet have a nickname.

Pontiac is considering several proposals on what to do with the Silverdome land over the long-term. Most proposals call for some kind of mixed-use plan mixing office and retail space. All plans call for the 80,325-seat stadium to be demolished.

Under the configuration planned for the new WHA team, the stadium will have a hockey rink placed in the east end zone, with seating for 23,540 fans — that’s several thousand more than the stated capacity of the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit where the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings play.

Despite the loss of the Lions in 2002 — the NBA Detroit Pistons also played at the Silverdome in the early 1980s — the Silverdome continues to be used for events such as auto races and concerts and features a drive-in theater.

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