Just 25 years after hosting its first football game, the 71,000 seat Georgia Dome was demolished today in front of a crowd of thousands of onlookers. Over its lifetime, the stadium hosted over 1,400 events and over 37 million visitors.
When it was first built, the Georgia Dome was the second-largest covered stadium in the world, behind only the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit. It hosted two Super Bowls during its lifetime, Super Bowl XXVII in 1994 and Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000.
During a college basketball tournament in 2008, the stadium was hit by a tornado while a game between Alabama and Mississippi State was still in progress. The tornado ripped two holes in the dome but amazingly no one was injured.
Luckily, the game went into overtime just prior to the tornado strike, otherwise thousands of people would have exited the stadium right into path of the tornado. Here is a video from the broadcast of the game right when the tornado struck.
After the completion of the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium this year, the Georgia Dome was no longer of use and would not be financially feasible. Its fate was sealed after only 25 years of use.
To take down the stadium, 4,800 pounds of explosives were used. Since the brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium was immediately next to the Georgia Dome, special care was taken to make sure that the new stadium was not damaged.
Watch the demolition in the video below!
As you can see, some sections of the dome remained standing after the implosion. These sections will have to be brought down by mechanical demolition and the cleanup is scheduled to last three months.
Thanks to a slight breeze, the dust blew directly into the new stadium, but it remained virtually undamaged from the demolition.