NEW HAVEN, Conn. Crews set off a thunderous explosion Saturday to demolish Veterans Memorial Coliseum, a 35-year-old arena that held sporting events and concerts by Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra.
Crowds filled a nearby 10-level parking garage to watch the demolition, which makes way for a downtown redevelopment project.
I've seen many hockey games and concerts at the coliseum, and it'* sad to see a landmark in New Haven leaving us, said Ed Seward, 50.
Others have considered the building an eyesore.
The first time I came to New Haven, I thought it was so very ugly. I'm glad to see it go, said Linda Young, 32.
Much of the building already had been dismantled before two children, who had won a lottery, pushed a plunger to set off about 2,000 pounds of explosives.
The blast produced a huge dust cloud and left behind 50-foot piles of rubble. A few windows were broken on nearby buildings.
The $230 million development project will include stores and up to 280 housing units. A community college and a theater will move to the site and an adjacent property.