What Really Happened When Debris Fell From Super Dome Ceiling
The most remembered aspect of the 2019 NFC Championship Game between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams will always be the non-call by the refs that cost the Saints a better chance to win the game and head to their second Super Bowl.
The one thing that will go overlooked is when the crowd was so loud that it seemed pieces of the Super Dome ceiling were falling or were they?
When linebacker Demario Davis intercepted a Jared Goff pass on the Rams first drive the crowd reaction would create such a vibration that tiny pieces of debris came loose from the ceiling above a ground-level walkway.
Saints fans, you knew you were loud but THIS loud!? That's pretty insane.
The executive vice president of stadiums and arenas for SMG, Doug Thornton, on Wednesday, delivered an explanation for what happened in this situation.
“What people were experiencing was the movement in the stadium,” he said. “Any tall building, if you look at the Empire State Building or any tall building, you’ll see when the winds blow, there’s probably a 6 or 8-inch sway, which might surprise some people. Anytime you have a big building like this, which might be six or eight stories tall, there’s going to be a little play in the steel and the concrete.”
Okay, so what was actually falling from the ceiling?
According to Thornton, the extreme crowd noise and vibrations that were sent throughout the bones of the Dome caused pieces of a fiberboard that was located inside of an expansion joint to come loose and fall to the ground. He added that the Fiberboard was being used as a filler that would prevent leakage in between two very large sections of the Dome that were made up of concrete.
“I’ll have to be honest with you,” he said. “I’ve been here 22 years and I’ve never seen it. We’ve had damage and destruction from rowdy fans who will punch holes in walls and throw beer cans, throw trashcans upside down, put dents in doors. Things like that. I’ve never heard it that loud before. And I’ve never seen it with the vibration where the space filler would fall out."
So, the Saints may not have won the game but they made a little bit of Dome history on Sunday, well done Who Dat Nation, you added that true Dome-Field Advantage.