Georgia Dome imploded with nearly 5,000 pounds of explosives

One of America's largest domed stadiums was imploded Monday morning as nearly 5,000 pounds of explosives blasted it to smithereens, sending massive plumes of smoke into the air.

The Georgia Dome, which opened in 1992, was flattened in 15 seconds at 7:30 am. 

The 71,250-seat dome was the site of high school football state championships, Peach Bowls, SEC championship games, two Super Bowls, 1996 Olympic basketball, three Final Four NCAA basketball tournaments, concerts, pro wrestling and other events.

Now it has been replaced by the $1.6 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium right next door.

The Georgia Dome is destroyed in a scheduled implosion Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, in Atlanta. The dome was not only the former home of the Atlanta Falcons but also the site of two Super Bowls, 1996 Olympics Games events and NCAA basketball tournaments among other major events. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

The Georgia Dome is destroyed in a scheduled implosion on Nov. 20, 2017. It was not only the home of the Atlanta Falcons but also the site of two Super Bowls, 1996 Olympics Games events and NCAA basketball tournaments.  (AP)

Officials said it will take around three months to completely clear the demolished site. It will be cleaned up and repurposed into a talgating space for Mercedes-Benz Stadium that "will feature unique arts, entertainment and cultural experiences that will bring together local residents, as well as events honoring veterans and active members of the military."

A five-story tall industrial strength curtain was set up between the two stadiums to protect the new venue from damage, officials said. Only 83 feet ─ less than 30 yards ─ separates the two venues, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The new stadium is home to the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, who were former tenants at the Georgia Dome, and Major League Soccer's Atlanta United.

In addition to the retractable roof that opens like a camera lens, Mercedes-Benz Stadium boasts a 1,100-foot "halo board" video display and a giant steel sculpture of a falcon with its 70-foot wingspan at one of the main entrances.

Several streets and parts of Atlanta's transit system were closed, police said, as many of the city's residents watched the blast against the early morning sky.

The idea for the Georgia Dome dates to the mid-1980s, when civic leaders recommended a domed football stadium adjoining the city's largest convention center, the Georgia World Congress Center.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.