IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) — Texas Stadium is now nothing but a memory and a pile of rubble, after an 11-year-old boy triggered the implosion that ended its nearly 40 year stint in Irving.
“It’s just hard,” said Jason Harmon, who waited up all night to be a part of history. “I’m here to say goodbye to the Irving Princess.”
According to some estimates, more than 20,000 people came to the area to watch the implosion. Gary Stoner walked around with sign that read “RIP Cowboys.” He said that the implosion was bittersweet for him. “It’s the fateful day when it is going to go down,” Stoner said. “We had to be here.”
While fireworks cut above the former home of the Dallas Cowboys, fans cheered on 11-year-old Casey Rogers of Terrell. Rogers runs a charity that helps homeless people in Dallas. He had the honor of triggering the implosion after winning a national essay contest sponsored by Kraft Foods.
But Rogers wasn’t the only anxious person.
“My heart is racing watching it,” said Patty Thompson, who traveled to Irving to watch the stadium collapse.
Rogers pushed the button and the stadium was decimated after just 30 seconds. More than a ton of dynamite was used to blow the stadium into pieces. “The first explosion part of roof and front come down, and then it’s boom, boom, boom,” Thompson said.
Others said they could feel the ground trembling at the time of the implosion. “It was louder than I thought. You could feel the sound and the movement. It was incredible,” said Carolee Hall, another attendee. “It was very emotional. It was harder to see than I thought.”
When it was all over, a cloud of dust lingered in the air. Fans looked out at the mountain of rubble and made sure to say their final goodbyes.
“It was a Super Bowl ending to the stadium,” resident Brenda Fuller said.
Hours after the dust settled, a demolition crew started to explore the debris. Some of the support buttresses were still standing. The crew expects to find more pieces that withstood the implosion. A majority of the crumbled concrete will be recycled.
Cleaning up the mess is expected to take until July.