Portions of Metrodome demolished by explosives
FEB 23, 2014 5:10p ET
MINNEAPOLIS -- The setting for more than three decades of Vikings and Twins games and numerous other sporting and entertainment events has begun turning to rubble.
Using some heavy-duty explosives, crews successfully demolished the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome's ring beam Sunday morning. The beam was a central part of the inflatable Teflon roof's structure.
Now, it lies in pieces where the old venue's replacement is scheduled to stand by July 2016.
"Mission accomplished," said John Wood, senior vice president of the Vikings stadium project's general contractor, Mortensen Construction. "The ring beam is on the ground just as planned. The event was safe, no one was hurt and there was no property damage."
Workers used 84 charges of dynamite set in the 24 columns of the Dome's upper concourse. The resulting explosions shook the surrounding downtown Minneapolis neighborhood starting at 7:30 a.m. Sunday.
Opened in 1982, the Metrodome's doors were closed for good following the Vikings' final home game of the 2013 season. They'll play home contests at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium the next two seasons while their new digs are being constructed.
The Twins called the Dome home until moving into baseball-specific Target Field ahead of the 2010 season.
Follow Phil Ervin on Twitter