After a little more than 25 years in service, the Georgia Dome sports stadium was flattened in just 15 seconds.
The Atlanta stadium, which was completed in March 1992, hosted one Olympics, two Super Bowls, and three NCAA Final Fours. It was demolished to make room for a pre-game gathering space for the brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium next door.
The blast that felled the building went off just after 7:30 am EST (12:30 pm BST) on Monday morning. The explosion demolished most of the building, but some of the structure remained intact. The implosion team was looking into what went wrong, a Georgia World Congress Centre Authority spokeswoman told CNN.
The demolition took 4,800 pounds of explosives, including about 4,500 pounds of dynamite, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The blast was so strong – and the two stadiums so close together – that the crew had to assemble a five-story-tall, industrial-strength curtain to shield the Mercedes-Benz Stadium from the impact. Cleanup from the blast is expected to take about three months.
The stadium was home to the Atlanta Falcons and Georgia State University football teams for decades, and played host to the annual Peach Bowl and the Southeastern Conference Football Championship. More than 1,400 events took place at the Dome, bringing in 39m guests.
Falcons head coach Dan Quinn told CNN that what he would remember most about the stadium was the fans.
"That's the first thing you remember about a place, the enthusiasm of the fans and a city and what it brings to a stadium,” he said. “That's what I think of, the fans, the city and the love they have for the team."
Fans will now be treated to free wifi, solar-powered games, and the world’s largest video board at the new Mercedes Benz Stadium. The $1.6bn stadium also boasts an eight-piece retractable roof, which sprang a leak during a recent high school marching-bands competition. A spokesperson for the venue said the leak was due to ongoing construction.
The Mercedes-Benz Stadium will also be home to the Atlanta United soccer team, and will host the Major League Soccer All-Star game in 2018.
The land where the Georgia Dome sat will become the Home Depot Backyard – a 13-acre park that will usually serve as a space for community arts, sports, and cultural events. On game days, it will serve as a premium tailgating spot.