Kingdome: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

King County Domed Stadium
The Kingdome
The Kingdome and USS Leahy (CG-16)
Location 201 S. King Street
Seattle, Washington 98104
 United States
Coordinates 47°35′44″N 122°19′59″W / 47.59556°N 122.33306°W / 47.59556; -122.33306Coordinates: 47°35′44″N 122°19′59″W / 47.59556°N 122.33306°W / 47.59556; -122.33306
Broke ground November 2, 1972
Opened March 27, 1976
Closed January 9, 2000
Demolished March 26, 2000 (aged 23)
Owner King County
Operator King County Department
of Stadium Administration
Surface AstroTurf
Construction cost $67 million
Architect Naramore, Skilling, & Praeger
Capacity Baseball: 59,166
Football: 66,000
Basketball: 40,000
Seattle Seahawks (NFL) (1976-2000)
Seattle Sounders (NASL) (1976-83)
Seattle Mariners (MLB) (1977-99)
Seattle SuperSonics (NBA) (1978-85)
NCAA Final Four (1984, 1989, 1995)
This 1996 map of the Pioneer Square-Skid Road Historic District shows the location of the Kingdome (at the lower right in the map).

The Kingdome was an indoor sports and entertainment arena in Seattle, Washington, owned and operated by King County. It was built in 1972–76 and operated from 1976 until its demolition in 2000. The Kingdome received its nickname from King County,[1] and was officially known as the King County Domed Stadium and often called "The Dome" (it was often incorrectly referred to on national broadcasts as the "Seattle Kingdome.")[2]

It was located at the west 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 Railroad's freight yards. It served as home to the city's professional sports teams: the Seahawks (NFL), Mariners (MLB), Sounders (NASL), and for several years the SuperSonics (NBA). The Kingdome was demolished by implosion on March 26, 2000 and the footprint is now occupied by its outdoor replacement, Qwest Field.

The upper deck of the Kingdome was extended from the left field foul pole to home plate and around to right center field and the first and second decks circled the entire stadium. The right field wall was 23 feet high and named the Walla-Walla. A scoreboard/video board was located above the seats in left field. The roof was 250 feet at its highest point above the Astroturf playing surface. Several speakers that were in play, dangled considerably lower and were hit numerous times by both fair and foul balls. Very few changes took place at the Kingdome over the years. In 1990, an out of town scoreboard was incorporated as part of the right field wall.[3]





The Kingdome was somewhat problematic as a baseball venue. It was not a multipurpose stadium in the truest sense of the term, but was a football stadium that could convert into a baseball stadium. As a result, the sight lines for baseball left much to be desired. Foul territory was quite roomy, pushing fans far from the action since the bullpens were just over the foul lines. Seats in the upper deck were as far as 617 feet (188 m) from the plate.[4] In right field, most fans in the 300 level were unable to see parts of right and center field; these areas were not part of the football playing field.

The inside of the Kingdome during a Mariners game, ca 1996

For most of the Mariners' first 18 years, their poor play (they didn't have a winning season until 1991) resulted in poor attendance. Combined with the Kingdome's design, this resulted in a very sterile atmosphere, leading some writers and fans to call it "the Tomb" and "Puget Puke"[4] (at one point the Mariners covered seats in the upper decks in right and right-center with a tarp in order to make the stadium feel "less empty"). Additionally, the Kingdome's acoustics created problems for stadium announcers, who had to deal with significant echo issues [5]. However, when the team's fortunes began to change in the mid–1990s and they began drawing large crowds, especially in the post-season, the noise created an electric atmosphere and gave the home team a distinct advantage similar to the effect on football games.

Despite its cavernous interior, the Kingdome's field dimensions were relatively small. It had a reputation as a hitter's park, especially in the 1990s when Ken Griffey, Jr., Edgar Martínez, Jay Buhner, Alex Rodriguez and other sluggers played there.

The large number of in-play objects—speakers, roof support wires and streamers—contributed to an "arena baseball" feel. The Kingdome was somewhat improved in 1982 with the addition of a 23-foot (7.0 m) wall in right field nicknamed the "Walla Wall" (after Walla Walla, Washington)," featuring a hand-operated scoreboard. In 1990, new owner Jeff Smulyan added some asymmetrical outfield dimensions.

The most noteworthy baseball game in the Kingdome's history took place on October 8, 1995, when the Seattle Mariners defeated the New York Yankees 6–5 in 11 innings in the rubber game of the American League Division Series in front of 57,411 raucous fans.[6]

One game between the Mariners and the Cleveland Indians in the Kingdome was suspended in the home half of the seventh inning because of a minor earthquake, on May 2, 1996. The earthquake occurred during a pitching change as Indians' pitcher Orel Hershiser was walking off the mound following a home run by Edgar Martínez.[7] After an inspection by engineers, the game was continued the next evening, resulting in a win for the Indians.

Baseball Firsts, Lasts, and Historic Moments

  • First Game: April 6, 1977 California Angels 7, Mariners 0. Also the first game in Mariners history (Starting Pitchers were Frank Tanana for the Angels and Diego Segui for the Mariners, both were the pitchers of record in this game.)
  • First Pitch: Thrown by Diego Segui a strike to Jerry Remy who would walk, steal second, and score the first run in stadium history.
  • First Hit: Don Baylor of the Angels, double to RF.
  • First HR: Joe Rudi Angels homered to LF with 1 on and 1 out in the 3rd Inning of the first game.
  • First Winning Pitcher: Frank Tanana, CG SO on April 6, 1977
  • First Mariners Batter: Dave Collins, struckout looking
  • First Mariners Hit: Jose Baez a 1st inning single to RF on April 6, 1977 (2nd batter of inning was erased on DP)
  • First Mariners Run: Dave Collins scored on an RBI double to LF by Dan Meyer on April 8, 1977.
  • First Mariners HR: Juan Bernhardt a solo shot to left with 2 outs in the 5th inning of a game on April 10, 1977
  • First Mariners Winning Pitcher: Bill Laxton pitched last 2/3rds of the 9th inning on a game on April 8 and picked up the win when the M's scored in the bottom of the 9th.
  • Last Game: June 27, 1999 Seattle Mariners 5 Texas Rangers 2 (Starting pitchers were Aaron Sele for the Rangers and Freddy Garcia for the M's. Both were the pitchers of record in this game)
  • Last Pitch Thrown: Jose Mesa
  • Last Batter: Rusty Greer flew out to LF to end the game
  • Last Mariners Batter: Ken Griffey, Jr. struck out swinging in the 8th Inning
  • Last Hit: David Bell of the Mariners singled to LF in the 8th Inning
  • Last HR: Ken Griffey, Jr. a first inning blast with 2 on and 0 outs.
  • Last Winning Pitcher: Freddy Garcia of the Mariners went 5 innings giving up 2 runs
  • Last Run: David Bell of the M's scored on a Brian Hunter infield single in the 4th Inning
  • No Hitters Thrown in the Kingdome: Randy Johnson of the Mariners on June 2, 1990 threw a 2-0 No-hitter vs the Detroit Tigers, Chris Bosio of the Mariners threw a 7-0 No-hitter against the Boston Red Sox on April 22, 1993.
  • Cycles: Jack Brohamer of the Chicago White Sox on September 24, 1977, Jay Buhner of the M's on June 23, 1993 vs Oakland (Buhner's 3B came in extra innings and he would score the GW run afterwards)
  • Historic Moments: 1979 MLB All-Star Game was played here, Gaylord Perry of the M's won his 300th game here on May 6, 1982 vs NY, Ken Griffey, Jr. hits his first MLB HR on the very first pitch he sees in the Kingdome (a solo shot off of Eric King of the Chicago White Sox in the bottom of the 1st inning on April 10, 1989), Ken Griffey, Jr. tied the MLB record for consecutive games with a HR (8) on July 28, 1993 on a HR into the upperdeck in RF off of Willie Banks of the Minnesota Twins in the 7th inning.

Kingdome Records

  • Mariners Regular Season Record in the Kingdome: 851-903 .485 in 1754 Regular Season Games
  • Mariners Postseason Record in the Kingdome 4-5 .444 in 9 Postseason Games
  • All Time Kingdome HR Leader: Ken Griffey, Jr. 198 1989-99
  • Single Season HR Leader: Ken Griffey, Jr., 27 in 1997


Due to its concrete construction and the Seahawks' raucous fans, the Kingdome was known as one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL. Opposing teams were known to practice with rock music blaring full blast to prepare for the high decibel levels typical of Seahawk home games. In 1987, Bo Jackson of the Los Angeles Raiders rushed for 221 yards, the most ever on Monday Night Football, and scored 2 touchdowns. One of his scores was a 91 yard touchdown and the other was a historic plowing into Seahawks high-profile rookie linebacker Brian "The Boz" Bosworth.

The Kingdome's final NFL game was played on January 9, 2000, a first-round playoff loss to the Miami Dolphins.[8] The Dolphins scored a fourth quarter touchdown to win 20-17; it was the last NFL victory for Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino and head coach Jimmy Johnson.

Football Firsts, Lasts, and Historic Moments

  • First Game: August 1, 1976 a 27-20 Seahawks loss in a Preseason Game vs the San Francisco 49ers.
  • First Points:
  • First Regular Season Game: September 12, 1976 the Seahawks lose the first regular season game in franchise history 30-24 to the St. Louis Football Cardinals.
  • First Regular Season Points:
  • First Seahawks Home Victory: November 7, 1976 a 30-13 blowout over the Atlanta Falcons.
  • Last Regular Season Game in Kingdome: December 26, 1999 a 23-14 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
  • Last Game: January 9, 2000 the Seahawks lost a heartbreaking playoff game to the Miami Dolphins 20-17.
  • Last Touchdown Scored (Regular Season): Joe Horn of the Chiefs caught a 76 yard TD pass from Elvis Grbac.
  • Last Seahawks Points Scored (Regular Season): A 48 yard FG by Todd Peterson.
  • Last Seahawks Touchdown (Regular Season): Derrick Mayes caught a 9 yard TD pass from Jon Kitna.
  • Last Touchdown and Points Scored: J.J. Johnson of the Dolphins scored from 2 yards out to give Miami its winning points in a Wild Card Playoff Game vs the Seahawks.
  • Last Seahawks Touchdown and Points Scored: Charlie Rogers returned an Olindo Mare kickoff 85 yards in a Wild Card Playoff Game.
  • Seahawks Regular Season Kingdome Record: 101-83 .554
  • Seahawks Post Season Record in Kingdome: 2-1 .667
  • Seahawks Overall Kingdome Record: 105-89 .556


Besides the Mariners and Seahawks, the stadium also hosted the NBA's Seattle SuperSonics for a number of years. The 1978–79 season was the first year the Sonics played in the Kingdome on a full time basis with the addition of portable stadium seating added onto the floor of the arena as well as additional scoreboards and a new basketball court. Fred Brown and Gus Williams led the team that year to their first and only world championship. At the time it was known in the NBA for being the noisiest arena for basketball as well as the largest crowds with stadium vendor Bill the Beerman taking the duties as cheerleader. In the 1979–80 season, the SuperSonics set an NBA record average attendance of 21,725 fans per game (since broken).[9] The SuperSonics also set NBA records for single-game playoff attendance in 1978 and 1980 with crowds of 39,457 and 40,172 respectively (also since broken). The Kingdome record attendance for a regular season game was in 1991, with 38,067.[10] The SuperSonics hosted the 1987 NBA All-Star Game there.

Logistics would be a problem during the playoffs, as the Mariners (the Kingdome's primary tenants) objected to letting the Sonics play there in the spring. Most of the games would be played at Seattle Center Coliseum, and a few of the games had to be played at Hec Edmundson Pavilion at the University of Washington.

Around 1990, Sonics owner Barry Ackerley made the decision to leave the Kingdome and to build a new basketball arena. Plans were underway to build a new arena south of the Kingdome (where Safeco Field stands today) to be called Ackerley Arena, but after financing fell through, the team went back to the Coliseum, which was later rebuilt as KeyArena, reopening for the 1995-96 season. The Sonics played there until the team moved to Oklahoma City before the 2008-09 season.

The NCAA Final Four was held three times at the Kingdome - in 1984, when Georgetown defeated 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.

Roof incident

The most notorious event in the stadium's history[citation needed] took place on July 19, 1994, when four 26-pound, waterlogged ceiling tiles collapsed in the vacant stadium just hours before a scheduled Mariners game. The cause was the stadium's poorly-maintained 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 after the MLB Players Association vetoed playing the "home" games at nearby Cheney Stadium in Tacoma or BC Place Stadium in Vancouver BC citing lighting issues (Tacoma) and Astroturf/Sliding Pit issues (Vancouver). Meanwhile, the Seattle Seahawks had to play their first three home games of the 1994 regular season home games at nearby Husky Stadium, as well as both preseason contests. (The Seahawks would later use Husky Stadium for all of their home games during 2000 and 2001 seasons between the demolition of the Dome and the completion of Qwest Field).

Repairing the roof ultimately cost $51 million and two construction workers lost their lives in a crane accident during the repair.[11] The incident also motivated plans to replace the stadium.

Other sports and entertainment

The Kingdome's first sporting event was a game between the NASL's New York Cosmos and Seattle Sounders on April 25, 1976, with 58,218 fans in attendance. The first collegiate football game played in the Kingdome was between Washington State Cougars and USC Trojans, when Ricky Bell set the NCAA single-game rushing yardage record (later broken by Reuben Mayes of Washington State).[12]

The Kingdome hosted the NFL Pro Bowl in 1977, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 1979, and the 1987 NBA All-Star Game, making it the only venue that has hosted all star games for three major sports leagues. This distinction is unlikely to be accomplished again due to the advent of purpose-built single-sport stadiums.

The UPS Loggers and PLU Lutes success in bringing large crowds to the newly opened Tacoma Dome in 1983, 1984 and 1985 enticed the Kingdome to move the rivarly game for the Totem Pole Trophy to Seattle. It was only played in the Kingdome for two years - 1986 and 1987. While it was relatively successful for small college football, the event organizers realized that they would never get the 50,000 needed to fill the Kingdome and brought the game back to Tacoma where it has been played ever since.

The stadium also hosted the high school football state championships in an event called the King Bowl. Since the stadium's implosion the state championships moved to the Tacoma Dome in nearby Tacoma.

The Seattle and Tacoma Police Departments played a yearly game named the Bacon Bowl to raise money for charity; it has since moved to Qwest Field.

Numerous rock concerts were held in the venue, despite significant echo and sound delay problems attributable to the structure's cavernous size. These include Led Zeppelin on July 17, 1977 on what turned out to be the band's last US tour (this performance is available on VOIO and ROIO), two Rolling Stones concerts on October 14 and 15, 1981, that attracted crowds of 69,132 and 68,028, respectively. The stadium was also the last stop for Guns N' Roses and Metallica on their epic co-headlining tour in early October 1992. U2 also made their last stop in the US on their Pop Mart Tour on December 12, 1997.

The first-ever rock concert in the Kingdome was Paul McCartney and Wings on June 10, 1976. The Seattle concert was the centerpiece of the Wings Over America tour, which was the first time McCartney had toured America since 1966 when The Beatles stopped touring. Highlights of the show included McCartney performing acoustic versions of "Yesterday" and "Blackbird".

The largest crowd to attend a single event in the Kingdome was 74,000, on May 17, 1976, for a Billy Graham Crusade featuring Johnny Cash.[13]


The Kingdome implosion in 2000.

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

Before thousands of Seattlites, it was destroyed by implosion on March 26, 2000 by Controlled Demolition, Inc. in the first live event ever covered by ESPN Classic[14], and set a world record for largest structure implosion by volume.[15] The Kingdome was imploded before its debt was fully paid.[16] It was the first domed stadium in the United States to ever be demolished.[17]

A video of the Kingdome's implosion can be viewed online.[18]

Qwest Field, the home of the NFL Seattle Seahawks since 2002, now occupies the site and was built using a significant amount of recycled concrete from the demolished Kingdome. Safeco Field, the Mariners' home park, sits next door, on the other side of Royal Brougham Way.

The Kingdome in popular culture

In the real-time strategy game World in Conflict, the Kingdome is featured in the "Dome" multiplayer map, as well as in the first campaign mission, featuring the same map. The dome is demolished by Soviet artillery fire in both normal and multiplayer campaigns.

The Kingdome is mentioned in the Foo Fighters song "New Way Home" off the 1997 album The Colour and the Shape.

In the video games Gran Turismo 2 (for PlayStation), 3 and 4 (for PlayStation 2), the Seattle circuit features the Kingdome and Safeco Field (in construction) near the end of the lap.

The destruction of the Kingdome factors heavily into Mike Daisey's book 21 Dog Years.

In the anime Mobile Suit Gundam, when White Base hide from Garma Zabi, the sports dome they take cover in appears to be the Kingdome

In Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie one of the characters mention the Kingdome when pieces of a roof start falling in a scene from This Island Earth.

In Jay-Z's hit song Empire State of Mind he says "Long live the World Trade, Long live the Kingdome".[19]

See also


  1. ^ Kingdome
  2. ^ Baseball Night in America Game 5 1995 ALDS, Baseball's Best Games Itunes
  3. ^ Kingdome | Seattle, WA
  4. ^ a b Smith, Curt (2001). Storied Stadiums. New York City: Carroll & Graf. ISBN 0786711876. 
  5. ^ A Conversation With Mariners Announcer Tom Hutyler
  6. ^ ALDS boxscore
  7. ^ Saperstein, Aliya. "Not even a quake could crack the Dome". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  8. ^ 1999 schedule
  9. ^ Richardson, Kenneth (January 27, 1989), "Sonics Going Dome Tonight: Hawks in Rare Kingdome Visit", The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 
  10. ^ "Jordan Finds a Groove In Time to Edge Sonics", The New York Times, November 24, 1991, 
  11. ^ "Ten Years After The Kingdome Tiles Fell.", The Seattle Times, July 19, 2004.
  12. ^ Perry, Jim. "Ricky Bell: 'The Bulldog'". Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  13. ^ unattributed. "Kingdome: The Controversial Birth of a Seattle Icon (1959-1976)". Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  14. ^ ESPN Classic to air Kingdome retrospective, implosion Seattle Post-Intelligencer March 20, 2000
  15. ^ Bringing Down The House Michael Satchell US News June 22, 2003
  16. ^ "Q&A: Stadium Tax Proposal." The Seattle Times. January 4, 2005.
  17. ^ Great Moments in Dome History The Seattle Times January 26, 2004
  18. ^ Kingdome Implosion - Live Coverage. King5 coverage, courtesy of Last accessed October 29, 2007.
  19. ^ Lyrics for The Blueprint 3

External links

Preceded by
first stadium
Home of the
Seattle Seahawks

1976 – 1999
Succeeded by
Husky Stadium
Preceded by
first ballpark
Home of the
Seattle Mariners

1977 – 1999
Succeeded by
Safeco Field
Preceded by
Seattle Center Coliseum
Home of the
Seattle SuperSonics

1978 – 1985
Succeeded by
Seattle Center Coliseum
Preceded by

The Pit
Kemper Arena
Charlotte Coliseum
NCAA Men's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Finals Venue

Succeeded by

Rupp Arena
McNichols Sports Arena
Continental Airlines Arena
Preceded by
Louisiana Superdome
Host of the NFL Pro Bowl
Succeeded by
Tampa Stadium
Preceded by
San Diego Stadium
Host of the MLB All-Star Game
Succeeded by
Dodger Stadium
Preceded by
Reunion Arena
Host of the
NBA All-Star Game

Succeeded by
Chicago Stadium


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address