Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, the former home of the Atlanta Braves, was turned into a pile of rubble Saturday.
Some 1,600 pounds of explosives were set off at 8:04 a.m., and it took only 27 seconds to turn the approximately 35,000 cubic yards of concrete and 10,000 tons of structural steel into a mangled mess amidst a cloud of dust that hovered above the site for several minutes before disappearing in the solid blue sky.
“It was excellent, real good. Everything went off perfectly, just as we expected,” said Steve Pettigrew, president of Franklin, Tenn.-based Demolition Dynamics Inc.
A crowd estimated at 30,000 by Atlanta police, including mayor Bill Campbell and Atlanta Braves executives John Schuerholz and Stan Kasten, watched from several vantage-points outside an 800-foot buffer zone.
The cleanup, set to begin Monday, should take about 45 days.
Workers will then come in and pave the 14-acres into a parking lot for the Braves’ new home, Turner Field. The new stadium sits just across the street from the old stadium, where Hank Aaron’s famous 715th home run in 1974 broke Babe Ruth’s record.
The stadium was home to the baseball Braves, who moved from Milwaukee in 1966 to Atlanta, and the NFL Falcons, an expansion team that same season.
The Falcons moved out of the stadium and into the Georgia Dome in 1992.