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By Wikipedia

The Kingdome, officially known as the "King County Domed Stadium", and often referred to as simply "The Dome", was the world's first and only multi-purpose concrete domed stadium, which was owned and operated by King County, Washington, located at the north end of Seattle's Industrial District, just south of Pioneer Square. The building was completed in 1976 on reclaimed tideflat land formerly occupied by the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway's freight yards.

At a glance...
Facility statistics
Location 201 South King Street
Seattle, Washington
Broke ground November 2, 1972
Opened March 27, 1976
Closed January 9, 2000
Demolished March 26, 2000
Replaced Sick's Stadium
Replaced by Safeco Field (Mariners, 2000)
Qwest Field (Seahawks, 2000)
Owner King County
Operator King County Department
of Stadium Administration
Surface AstroTurf
Architect Naramore, Skilling,
& Praeger
Seattle Seahawks (NFL, 1976-1999)
Seattle Sounders (NASL, 1976-1983)
Seattle Mariners (MLB, 1977-1999)
Seattle Supersonics (NBA,1978-1985)
Seating capacity
59,166 (Baseball)
66,000 (Football)
Left Field - 315 ft
Left-Center - 375 ft
Center Field - 405 ft
Right-Center - 375 ft
Right Field - 315 ft
Backstop - 63 ft

Left Field - 331 ft
Left-Center - 376 ft
Center Field - 405 ft
Right-Center - 352 ft
Right Field - 312 ft
Backstop - 63 ft

The Kingdome was home to NBA championship games, Boeing and Microsoft company meetings, a baseball team that failed to make the playoffs its first 20 years and a football team that, until their last year in the building, had gone longer than any other team in the NFL without appearing in the playoffs ('89-98).

The most notorious event in the stadium's history took place on July 19, 1994, when four waterlogged ceiling tiles collapsed in the vacant stadium just hours before a scheduled Seattle Mariners game. The root cause of this was the stadium's poorly designed concrete roof, which by 1993 was leaking badly. A plan to repair the roof involved stripping the original exterior sealant and pressure washing the exterior. This pressure washing resulted in seepage through the concrete roof, ultimately leading to the interior ceiling's collapse. The Mariners were forced to play the last 15 home games of the 1994 strike-shortened season on the road. Repairing the roof ultimately cost $50 million and motivated plans to replace the stadium.

In 1997 plans were finalized to construct two new stadiums in Seattle, Qwest Field and Safeco Field. These two stadiums, future homes of the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners respectively, rendered the Kingdome useless and guaranteed its demise.

Rest in Pieces

The stadium was demolished by implosion (sent to "Kingdome Come", as it were) on March 26, 2000 in the first live event ever covered by ESPN Classic (it was also cybercast), and set a world record for the largest implosion of a concrete building. The Kingdome might also hold a record as the first major stadium to be imploded before it was actually fully paid for.

To most people, the Kingdome has gone down in history as "the ugliest sports arena ever built." It is also believed to be the first domed stadium in the United States to ever be demolished. Qwest Field, the home of the National Football League's Seattle Seahawks, now occupies the site, as do the Seahawks, just as they had when the Kingdome still stood. Safeco Field, the Mariners' home park, sits adjacent to Qwest Field. Safeco Field has a retractable roof while Qwest Field's roof covers 70 percent of the seats.



Kingdome in a state of disrepair, 1996.

Photo by Patrick Mondout of

04/06/1977 Angels 7, Mariners 0
Umpires Bill Haller, Bill Kunkel
  Ron Luciano, Ken Kaiser
Managers Darrell Johnson, Mariners
  Norm Sherry, Angels
Starting Pitchers Diego Segui, Mariners
  Frank Tanana, Angels
Ceremonial Pitch U.S. Senator Henry Jackson
Attendance 57,762
Batter Jerry Remy (walk)
Hit Don Baylor (double)
Run Jerry Remy
RBI Don Baylor
Single Jose Baez
Double Don Baylor
Triple Rod Carew (04/11/1977)
Home Run Joe Rudi
Grand Slam Joe Rudi (04/10/1977)
IPHR Ruppert Jones (08/06/1977)
Stolen Base Jerry Remy
Sacrifice Hit Jerry Remy
Sacrifice Fly Dave Chalk (04/07/1977)
Cycle Jack Brohamer (09/24/1977)
Win Frank Tanana
Loss Diego Segui
Shutout Frank Tanana
Save John Montague (04/09/1977)
Hit by Pitch Wayne Simpson hit Craig
Reynolds (04/09/1977)
Wild Pitch Glenn Abbott (04/07/1977)
Balk Stan Thomas (04/08/1977)
No-Hitter Randy Johnson (06/02/1990)
Primary research by Jim Herdman & David Vincent
Courtesy of Retrosheet

Besides the Mariners and Seahawks, the stadium also hosted the National Basketball Association's Seattle SuperSonics for a number of years. The Kingdome's first sporting event was a game between the North American Soccer League's New York Cosmos and Seattle Sounders on April 25, 1976, with 58,218 fans in attendance. The NCAA Final Four was held three times at the Kingdome - in 1984, when Georgetown defeated the University of Houston, in 1989 when Michigan beat Seton Hall in overtime, and in 1995 when UCLA won their first championship since the retirement of legendary coach John Wooden, defeating Arkansas.

The 'Dome was also host to an NFL Pro Bowl (1977), a Major League All-Star Game (1979) and an NBA All-Star Game (1979). Numerous rock concerts were held in the cavernous venue, including two Rolling Stones concerts on October 14 and 15, 1981 that attracted crowds of 69,132 and 68,028.

Related Books on Ballparks
The Ballpark Book: A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic by Ron Smith and Kevin Belford.
Ballpark: The Story of America's Baseball Fields by Lynn Curlee
Ballparks: A Panoramic History by Marc Sandalow and Jim Sutton.
Ballparks by Robert Von Goeben and Red Howard.
Ballparks: Then & Now by Eric Enders.
Baseball Vacations: Great Family Trips to Minor League and Classic Major League Ballbarks Across America by Bruce Adams and Margaret Engel.
Blue Skies, Green Fields: A Celebration of 50 Major League Baseball Stadiums by Ira Rosen.
Diamonds: The Evolution of the Ballpark by Michael Gershman.
Fields of Dreams: A Guide to Visiting and Enjoying All 30 Major League Ballparks by Jay Ahuja
Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebration of All Major League and Negro League Ballparks by Philip J. Lowry.
Joe Mock's Ballpark Guide by Joe Mock.
Lost Ballparks: A Celebration of Baseball's Legendary Fields by Lawrence S. Ritter.
Roadside Baseball: A Guide to Baseball Shrines Across America by Chris Epting.
Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present by Josh Leventhal and Jessica Macmurray.
The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip: A Fan's Guide to Major League Stadiums by Joshua Pahigian and Kevin O'Connell.
Video: Story of America's Classic Ballparks
Video: Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns

Economics of Stadiums
City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks by Philip Bess.
Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit by Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause.
Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums by Kevin J. Delaney and Rick Eckstein.
Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums by Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist.

General Stadium Reference:
Sports Staff of USA Today. The Complete 4 Sport Stadium Guide. Fodor's, 1996.

Stadium Design and Financing References:
Philip Bess. City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks. Knothole Press, 1999.
Joanna Cagan and Neil deMause. Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money into Private Profit. Common Courage Press, 1998.
Mark S. Rosentraub. Major League Losers: The Real Cost of Sports and Who's Paying for It. HarperCollins, 1997.
Kevin J. Delaney, Rick Eckstein. Public Dollars, Private Stadiums: The Battle over Building Sports Stadiums. Rutgers University Press, 2004.
Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist. Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums. Brookings Institution, 1997.
Dean V. Baim. The Sports Stadium as a Municipal Investment. Greenwood Publishing, 1994.
Stadia: A Design and Development Guide by Geraint John and Rod Sheard. Architectural Press, 2000.
Michelle Provoost, Matthjis Bouw and Camiel Van Winkel. The Stadium: Architecture of Mass Sport. NAI Publishers, 2000.

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Kingdome from space!

USGS Photo

Year by Year statistics: for Kingdome

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