Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Gone in 25 seconds, the Dallas Cowboys' stadium reduced to rubble by an 11-year-old boy

Start of things to come: Fireworks light the sky before the demolion of the Texas Stadium, in Irving, Dallas

Texas Stadium is nothing but a memory - after being destroyed by a ton of dynamite.

The long-time home of the Dallas Cowboys was demolished in spectacular style today in an event that took six months to plan and less than a minute to execute.

The stadium, which was built in 1971 at a cost of $35m, is known in the world of American footbball for its giant hole in its roof, 'so God can watch his team'.

It also featured in the opening credits for each of the 13 series of the TV series Dallas, starring Larry Hagman and Victoria Principal.

One last look: The 65,675-capacity Texas Stadium in Irving, Dallas, moments before its destruction

Fireworks preceded the stadium's destruction, with fans counting down to the fateful button push by 11-year-old Casey Rogers, of nearby Terrell, the winner of an essay contest.

The dynamite dropped the west side of the building toward the north, the east die toward the south and the roof right on top.

The concrete and twisted metal that remains is expected to take until July to clean up.

Going... The stadium's west end goes first

Going... The middle portion of the stadium follows fast

Still going... Only a fraction of the roof remains

Fans arrived as early as Saturday night for 'final tailgate parties' in area parking lots.

Others gathered at hotels and office buildings as far as 10 miles away in downtown Dallas, including many former Cowboys players. Local TV stations carried the implosion live. There was even a corporate sponsor.

The Cowboys won all five of their Super Bowl titles while they called 65,675-capacity Texas Stadium home.

'Even in the dawn, (driving in) we slowed down and took a real good look at it. You get a little lump in your throat,' said Jerry Jones, who bought the team and the stadium lease for $160m in 1989. 'It was beautiful.'

Gone: Smoke fills the sky - the clean-up is expected to take six months

But many people seemed to be drawn Sunday by curiosity and spectacle more than an overriding sense of nostalgia.

The consensus was that the old place was great in its day, but past its prime - especially since the Cowboys moved to the new $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium in nearby Arlington after the 2008 season.

After that, Irving city leaders decided they needed the land more than the building and planned the demolition. The state already has a 10-year lease to use the property as a staging area for a highway construction project.

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