Today should be Opening Day for MLB teams across the country.
Instead, it’s #OpeningDayAtHome due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It also happens to be the 20th anniversary of the Kingdome in Seattle, Washington being imploded. With that in mind, let’s revisit the history of one of the most controversial and interestingly designed sports facilities that once stood out on the Seattle skyline.
FACTS ABOUT THE KINGDOME
- Opened in March 1976
- Formally known as the King County Multipurpose Domed Stadium
- Home to the Seattle Mariners (MLB), Seahawks (NFL), Sonics (NBA) and Sounders (NASL).
- The project initially budgeted for $40 million in 1968
- Construction began in 1972
- The Kingdome covered 9.1 acres, and used 52,800 cubic yards of concrete. The building contained 443 tons of structural steel. It accommodated 64,722 football fans, 59,623 baseball fans, and 80,000 "personality show" attendees.
- For 24 years the Kingdome was the destination for fans and revelers attending events as diverse as ball games, revival meetings, and motorcycle races
- The kingdome was imploded on March 26, 2000, one day before its 24th birthday.
The Seahawks spent two seasons playing at Husky Stadium, home to the University of Washington football team. In 2002, the Seahawks moved into CenturyLink Field, formally known as Qwest Field.
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Seattle played almost all of their home games at the Kingdome from 1976 to 1999, but unfortunately their first game in the Kingdome and last game were both losses. The first was a 27-20 preseason loss to the San Francisco 49ers in August 1976; the latter was a 20-7 playoff loss to the Miami Dolphins in January 2000.
The Mariners had a similar start to their Kingdome days on April 6, 1977, when the Mariners lost to the California Angels, 7-0. Seattle spent 22 and a half seasons in the Kingdome.
According to MLB.com, the Kingdome was considered a hitter's park. The dimensions were short, the ball carried well in the controlled indoor climate (68-72 degrees), and the hard Astroturf field benefited hitters as well.
The Mariners moved into Safeco Field, now known as T-Mobile Park, in July 1999.