You no longer need to cover your ears in Minneapolis

The ear defenders may have come out for the demolition of the Metrodome in Minneapolis, but with luck that is the last time that they will be needed there.

The ear defenders may have come out for the demolition of the Metrodome in Minneapolis, but with luck that is the last time that they will be needed there. The stadium is now being demolished, and the footage of the action can be seen on the BBC website

It is always mesmerising to watch a building collapsing but sad as well, and it is a colossal waste of resources – in particular of embodied energy. But maybe it really was time for this one to go. In 2012 Time magazine voted it the worst stadium in the US, just two years after part of the roof collapsed under a snow load.

This is part of what Time wrote about it: ‘You might not think that public money should be used to build a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. But there’s little doubt the Metrodome has seen better days. The stadium first opened in 1982, as a state-of-the-art facility that would keep the Twins and Vikings out of the cold. After staid domes fell out of favor, the Twins left for fresh air back after the 2009 season; they now play at Target Field. Football is a more acceptable indoor sport. But not at the Metrodome, especially after the roof collapsed under a snowstorm in 2010.’

Even worse, perhaps, it was known as the noisiest stadium in America. While this traditionally gives a home team a great advantage, and so can be popular, at the Metrodome the level was truly mind-boggling – or should that be ear boggling? Levels of 125 and 118 dB have been recorded – like standing near a jet engine taking off, and levels just before pain begins. Which means that, with any lengthy exposure, hearing would be damaged.

However much we believe buildings should be preserved, especially for environmental reasons, sometimes it really is time to say goodbye.

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