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Pittsburgh brings down Three Rivers Stadium

Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from top to bottom, is imploded on Sunday morning  

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- Three decades of sports history came crashing to Earth on Sunday morning as demolition workers brought down Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium in a controlled blast.

The implosion went off with no apparent trouble about 8 a.m. Sunday, destroying the longtime home of Major League Baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates and the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers.

Three Rivers took its name from the point near downtown Pittsburgh where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers join to form the Ohio River. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Pirates and Steelers fans watched from the riverbanks, and riverboats carried others to watch the demolition.

It is the latest ballfield to fall as American cities move away from the multiple-sport facilities built in the 1960s and '70s. Others demolished in the past few years include Seattle's Kingdome in Washington state, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Georgia and Cleveland Stadium in Ohio.

Watch the implosion of three-decade-old Three Rivers Stadium

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Three Rivers Stadium opened in 1971, seating up to 59,000 people for football games. In its heyday, it hosted the Pirates and Steelers at a time when both were national contenders: In 1979, the Pirates won the World Series and the Steelers won the Super Bowl. And in 1985, according to the park's official history, it held the largest concert in Pittsburgh's history -- a show by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band that drew 65,935.

Baseball clubs began moving back toward more traditional facilities in the early 1990s as fans complained the multiple-use fields slighted spectators of both sports.

Three Rivers saw more than its share of glory: The Pirates' Roberto Clemente recorded his 3,000th major league hit there in 1972, and Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw's winning touchdown pass to Franco Harris in a playoff game later that year became legendary as the "Immaculate Reception."

The Pirates will move into the new PNC Park when this baseball season opens, and the Steelers are scheduled to play in a new stadium this fall.

Three Rivers Stadium headed for e-auction block
October 2, 2000
Detroit bids goodbye to Tiger Stadium
September 26, 1999
Destination: Stadiums
July 1997

Three Rivers Stadium
Pittsburgh Pirates (official site)
Pittsburgh Steelers (official site)

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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