Shea Stadium's demolition is complete

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Shea Stadium is officially history.

The last standing structural portion of the 44-year-old stadium came crashing to the ground yesterday at 11:22 a.m., a process that took less than 30 seconds and resulted in a considerable cloud of dust.

A handful of Mets fans who watched from outside the surrounding fence in 30-degree weather cheered as the four levels of ramps that used to wind behind Section 5 were pulled down.

As the dust cleared, the fans briefly chanted "Let's Go Mets" and construction workers hugged, clapped and pumped their fists.

The deconstruction of Shea Stadium began almost immediately after the Mets' 2008 season ended with a 4-2 loss to the Marlins on Sept. 28. Now, less than five months later, all that's left of the Mets' old home is a large pile of debris with their new home, Citi Field, in the background.

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The Shea Stadium site will eventually become the parking lot for Citi Field. The team's original goal was to have the lot ready to be used by their home opener April 13, but it's more likely going to take a little more time. The new ballpark actually will be inaugurated on April 3, when the Mets host the Boston Red Sox in an exhibition game. The teams will play a second exhibition on April 4.

In the Bronx, the old Yankee Stadium still stands at River Avenue, across 161st Street from the new stadium, where the Yanks will play the Chicago Cubs in exhibitions April 3 and 4, and open the regular season April 16 against the Cleveland Indians.

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