Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"They blowed 'em up real good!"--Part 1

For no particular reason, I found myself checking out various stadium and arena implosion videos on YouTube the other night.  As much as I hate to see old venues go, I'd much rather see them go out in a blaze of glory, rather than be torn down piece-by-piece, so just for shits and hoots, I've compiled a few of them for your viewing pleasure...
Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh (1970-2001)  Most baseball purists weren't sorry to see this place go down"a five-tiered cement ashtray" as I once heard Three Rivers called.  It actually made a better football stadium than a baseball stadium, but that's not saying much.  It was replaced by two far-superior facilities.

Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium (1966-1997) The "Launching Pad" was launched into oblivion the year after Atlanta hosted the Summer Olympics.  Like most of the "cookie-cutter" stadiums of the '60s and '70s built for both baseball and football, Fulton County served neither sport particularly well, as the Braves and Falcons slogged along on a crappy field and in front of scores of empty seats most of the time.  Interesting tidbit:  The first Braves batter in stadium history was Felipe Alou in 1966.  The final Braves out in stadium history in 1996 was made by his son Moises Alou.
Market Square Arena, Indianapolis (1974-2001)  This was the last building Elvis ever left in concert, and it was killed before its time, I think.  I attended a Pacers game there in 1990, and was impressed with the sightlines and overall atmosphere.  MSA was unique too, in that a public street ran length-wise right underneath the arena floor.  I've heard its successor, nearby Conseco Fieldhouse, is pretty nifty.

Winnipeg Arena (1955-2006)  The former home of the Winnipeg Jets and the Manitoba Moose was defiant to the end, refusing to completely fall during this implosion attempt, as you'll see in the video.  Oops!

The Arena, St. Louis (1929-1999)  I didn't find out they were imploding the "Old Barn" on Oakland Avenue until the day before it happened, or I would've driven down to St. Louis to see it in person.  I attended more events there than at any other arena outside of Kansas City.

New Haven Coliseum (1972-2007)  Scene of Van Halen's 1986 "Live Without A Net" concert video, the Coliseum had a very unique layout, with its parking structure actually built above the arena itself.  Ironically, during the VH concert video, bassist Michael Anthony proclaimed, "We're just gonna have to tear this playhouse down!"  Some 21 years later, they did...


Arpeggio Andy said...

This was a cool idea for a blog. I am disappointed in myself for not thinking of this first. I couldn't help but think of the Riverfront Colliseum implosion (which looked exactly like the Three Rivers one being that they were the same cookie-cutter stadium) and the Kingdome implosion (at below URL).


Brian Holland said...

Thanks for the link. I was going to include Riverfront and the Kingdome, but it was getting late and I ran out of time last night. I will include them in Vol. 2.