December 20, 2008

RCA Dome Implosion Destroys Colts Former Home

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Indianapolis has become a major sports town in the last two decades, thanks to pro football and college basketball. The center of this movement was the RCA Dome, which housed the Colts every week and hosted many a Final Four. Memories of Peyton Manning, and college basketball national championships, flooded the RCA Dome for almost 20 years. Those memories are now all that is left of the RCA dome, after it was finally imploded this morning.

At 9:30 a.m., the RCA Dome was imploded, as 800 charges were set off within 30 seconds. Even with this implosion, some of the stadium was still left over. However, crews will take down what is left of the RCA Dome structure themselves in the next few weeks.

The RCA Dome was imploded at 24 years old, as it was built in 1984. Originally called the Hoosier Dome, the stadium was completed in a hurry, in anticipation of a football franchise being brought to Indianapolis.

In 1984, the Colts finally became that team in their infamous move from Baltimore. The Hoosier Dome was ready for them by then. Seating over 60,000 fans, the Hoosier Dome also became a popular spot for major college basketball games.

The Hoosier Dome hosted four NCAA Final Fours. In 1991, it was the home of Duke's famous upset of undefeated UNLV. In 1997, Arizona completed a surprising national championship by defeating Kentucky in overtime. In 2000, Michigan State won it all in the dome over Florida, who then won their own national title in Indianapolis in 2006.

In 1994, the Hoosier Dome gave away its naming rights to RCA. The newly christened RCA Dome hadn't seen many football highlights from the Colts, at least until Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy arrived. One of the final RCA Dome highlights was the Colts' comeback win over the Patriots in the 2007 AFC championship game, paving the way for the Colts' long awaited Super Bowl title.

Despite being a relatively young stadium, the RCA Dome did not last too long. Ultimately, Indianapolis built a new home for the Colts, as Lucas Oil Stadium opened this year. With a retractable roof, Lucas Oil Stadium will host a Super Bowl and a Final Four over the next few years.
The Colts got off to a rocky start at Lucas Oil Stadium, losing their first two games there before rebounding in the second half of the season.

While this happened, the RCA Dome was being set up for implosion. Even the roof that covered the RCA Dome had to be deflated and taken down before today's implosion.

Once the rubble is cleared from the implosion, the space that held the RCA Dome will be cleared to make way for an expansion of the Indiana Convention Center, which is connected to Lucas Oil Stadium.

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