Saturday, December 28, 2002

Stadium wired and ready to fall

By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Cinergy Field is wired and ready to fall.

Diane MuGrage of Springfield Township takes a photo of her son Gene MuGrage and her grandkids with Cinergy Field behind them. The children are Ben, Sam, Sarah and Tim.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
| ZOOM |
Final preparations are under way for Sunday's 8 a.m. big boom, which will level the 32-year-old stadium with a series of nitroglycerin-laced charges designed to kick out the structure's support columns and send it tumbling into itself.

By this morning, between 15 and 20 employees of O'Rourke Wrecking Co. will have finished wiring more than 1,000 blasting caps, which will be ignited at split-second intervals to bring the building down.

The crew will spend this afternoon checking the heavy fabric mats in place to protect glass at Great American Ball Park, and the plastic coverings used to keep dust out of air intakes at the transit center, Underground Railroad Freedom Center and other nearby facilities.

A baseball sits in the remains of the Reds dugout.
(AP/David Kohl photo)
| ZOOM |
"We're going to spend the day really just double-checking a lot of the protection we've had installed for a couple of weeks now," said project manager Jeff Sizemore.

Mike Sieving, construction executive for Hamilton County, said viewing areas north of Third Street will be open to the public, unless wind or some other weather condition forces police to close those areas. Cincinnati police will make that call early Sunday morning. But Mr. Sieving had a simple message for everyone in the Tristate.

"Watch from home," he said. "We've heard estimates that there could be 200,000 people down here. We just don't have that capacity and they won't be able to see."

  Go to for updated coverage before, during and after Sunday's implosion of Cinergy Field. There will be live reports from 5:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. on the latest traffic and weather conditions, real-time video from inside and outside the stadium and more.
There is an implosion-friendly forecast for Sunday, however. Expected are gentle winds of between 5 and 10 mph, a clear day that is slightly warmer than normal at 35 degrees with no rain or snow predicted, according to Don Hughes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington.

Mr. Sizemore said the biggest threat to Great American Ball Park, which is literally an arm's length away from Cinergy Field in one spot, is the rush of air the falling material will create. Crews have prepared for that by building a sand berm between the two stadiums.


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