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Watch the roof get blown off the Metrodome

The start of the boom.
The start of the boom.
still from Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority video

On Sunday morning, while New Jersey's MetLife Stadium was preparing for Super Bowl fireworks, the Metrodome readied explosions of its own.

At 7:30 a.m., crews blew the roof off the 31-year-old, one-time home of the Vikings.

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"It was a pretty significant undertaking," says Jenn Hathaway, spokesperson for the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. "With explosives, there's significant security."

While the famous marshmallow deflated for the last time on January 18, huge support cables -- each about 3 1/2 inches wide -- still held it up.

No more: Yesterday morning, crews attached 42 demolition charges to the cables, and then detonated them simultaneously. Boom.

The MSFA released a video of the explosion, shot on an iPhone from the roof of 1010 Metrodome Square across the street. It shows a peaceful, post-dawn Minneapolis skyline, and then the blast.

"Wow," exclaims a voice behind the camera. "Perfect."

To prepare for the blasts, the city closed sidewalks, streets, and the light rail station from 5:30 to 8 a.m., and warned local businesses and community contacts.

In a release before the weekend, the Vikings promised that the demolition wouldn't cause a ruckus. "The detonation will have a slightly lower decibel level than the pyrotechnics used following a Vikings touchdown," the team explained.

But on Sunday morning, some neighbors hadn't gotten the memo. "Did anyone else hear what sounded like thunder or an explosion?" one person wrote in the Seward group of the online forum E-Democracy. "It was so loud my cat ran for cover in the house."

Here's the video:

The MSFA confirms that the detonations were successful, and severed all the cables.

"Everything went perfectly as planned," says Hathaway. "Every cable severed the exact way it was supposed to, and no one was hurt."

Next up in the tear-down, crews will remove the rest of the roof fabric, and get the cables ready for recycling. Workers have also set up the first of several enormous cranes, which extends up to 300 feet.

-- Tips or comments? Reach Olivia LaVecchia by email or on Twitter at @olavecchia


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