RCA Dome Reduced To Rubble

About 800 Explosive Charges Gut Colts' Old Home

Crews imploded what was left of the RCA Dome Saturday morning, demolishing a piece of the city's history.

It only took about 30 seconds to level a building that held 24 years of history for sports fans and others.

About 800 explosive charges were not designed to bring the entire structure to the ground, but to bring it down far enough so crews can dismantle what's left.

"All of the equipment that we've been using to prepare the site, they can easily get to the remaining rubble as it sits now," said Tom Scheele, senior vice president of Shiel Sexton Inc., the contractor demolishing the dome.

The debris and remaining structure is expected to be gone by spring. About half of the dome had already been dismantled after the roof was deflated on Sept. 24.

A safety perimeter was set up to keep traffic and hundreds of spectators out of harm's way. Instead of coming to see the demolition live, most people chose to watch on TV and the Internet.

The implosion was delayed for several minutes as crews ran through several safety checks and found someone had sneaked into a nearby garage inside the security perimeter. Once that person was taken to safety, the demolition happened just after 9:30 a.m.

The dome's destruction makes way for construction to begin on the $275 million expansion of the Indiana Convention Center in January. The convention center will be attached to Lucas Oil Stadium, the new home of the Indianapolis Colts.

The convention center is slated for completion in the fall of 2010. It will increase the amount of space from about 725,000 square feet to more than 1.2 million square feet.

The RCA Dome had a storied 24-year history. It could seat as many as 60,500 people in its standard configuration.

The dome was home to the Indianapolis Colts, hosted numerous basketball championships and hundreds of conventions.

Originally called the Hoosier Dome, the name changed when RCA bought the naming rights in 1994.

Scott Cunningham and his daughter were at ground level to get an up-close look at the demolition.

"Every guy likes to see things go boom … and my daughter is back from college, so we thought we'd catch up," Cunningham said.