Roberts Stadiums demolition did not go as planned - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Roberts Stadium's last stand was falling on its own schedule (with EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

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UPDATE: Visual inspections of the skeletal I-beams had shown buckling at the base of the structural members.

Concerns were discussed with the City's project engineer onsite prior to torch cutting Friday morning. 

As the beams were being weakened by propane torch, the structure was compromised beyond the bolt's capacity.


A potentially dangerous crash Friday morning at the site of Roberts Stadium.

What's left of the building came down, catching everyone, including crews on site, by surprise.

14 News was the only media outlet there to capture the collapse on video.

What's left of the stadium looks like spider legs coming out from the bowl underneath. That was not exactly the plan when the day began.

"I saw the notification and had to stop by and see it and it looks really different," said Zane Clodfelter.

Since stadium demo began, Zane Clodfelter's been taking and tweeting pictures of the progress.

"On my way to school, I go to USI, it still looked like it was still standing the last beams," he said.

What he missed around 10:30 Friday morning, 14 News photographer Andy Overton caught on camera, just in time.

The building's skeleton suddenly and unexpectedly crashing down.

"They said mishap and that was an interesting word," Zane noted. "I didn't know how severe it was, but I think this is much bigger than a mishap because I mean, that was quick."

"Anytime you're doing a demolition project in general there's the opportunity for people to be hurt, a lot of things don't come down the way you expect," said David Rector.

Rector, with the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Building Authority says the plan was to bring the 16 trusses down like dominoes later in the day.

But that's not what happened.

"We were starting to torch halfway through we got through about the fifth or sixth one, the building turned and buckled and collapsed on itself," Rector said.

Afterwards, you can see some workers take off running. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

Though it didn't happen as planned, a big piece of Evansville's history is now down for good.

"I'm glad that the process is over because it was really depressing driving by, going to school each day and then coming home and seeing it picked apart piece by piece," Zane said. "I think Roberts finally pulled the plug on itself."

Everything is supposed to be wrapped up by May 1st.

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