20 years ago today, the Kingdome vanished forever in less than 20 seconds. The concrete dome was home to the Mariners, Sonics and Seahawks and hosted some of the city’s most memorable concerts and gatherings. On the anniversary of its implosion, we take a trip down memory lane to relive its best and worst moments.

'Loud. Insane. Fun.' Remembering Seattle's Kingdome 20 years after its implosion


10. Ken Griffey Jr’s first game in Kingdome in 1989 and last in 1999: No athlete is as associated with the Kingdome more than Griffey, who may have hit 800 home runs if he’d played his entire career there. He homered in his first game there in 1989 and in his last a decade later.

9. Pele leads New York Cosmos past Sounders in 1976: Pele scored two goals in a 3-1 Cosmos win in front of 58,128. It was the Kingdome’s first sporting event.

Pele put his world-famous toe to the ball during a 1976 exhibition match against the Sounders at the Kingdome. Following the ball was Seattle’s Dave D’Errico. (Seattle Times file)

8. Mariners beat Angels in 1995 tiebreaker game for AL West title: There would have been no Edgar double and Junior slide without Randy’s masterpiece and jubilant point to the sky when it was over and “everybody scores’’ in front of a crowd that seemed especially energized at seeing a piece of baseball history.

Seattle Mariners’ pitcher Randy Johnson reaches back for a pitch Monday, Oct. 2, 1995 in their playoff game against the California Angels in Seattle. (BILL CHAN / AP)

7. Steve Largent’s 1988 hit on Mike Harden as Seahawks clinch division: Until the 2013 Super Bowl run, Largent’s hit on Harden that forced a fumble — a few months after a cheap shot by Harden knocked Largent unconscious in Denver — might have been the most memorable play in Seahawks history.

6. 1984/1989/1995 men’s basketball Final Fours: It’s hard to pick any of these above the other — Georgetown’s only title, Michigan’s run under Steve Fisher and UCLA’s championship with Wooden in attendance.

Workers install part of the hardwood floor for the Final Four at the Kingdome in 1989. (Jimi Lott / The Seattle Times)

5. 1987 NBA All-Star weekend: Michael Jordan won the dunk contest, Larry Bird the three-point contest (which, to be accurate, were held at the Coliseum, but part of the overall event) and Sonics forward Tom Chambers, a late injury replacement, won the game’s MVP award.

Michael Jordan competes in the 1987 NBA All-Star Slam Dunk contest in 1987. (Harley Soltes / The Seattle Times)

4. 1979 MLB All-Star Game: The game featured 16 eventual Hall of Famers and a really fun game won 7-6 by the National League, which scored in the eighth and ninth to rally.

A capacity crowd of 58,906 stands for the singing of the Canadian and American National Anthems at the 1979 All-Star Game at the Kingdome in Seattle. (Cole Porter / The Seattle Times)

3. Seahawks’ first playoff game at Kingdome: You could pick any number of Seahawks games when the Kingdome was especially electric. But the first postseason win, on Christmas Eve in 1983 over the Broncos, stands out.

Seattle Seahawk running back Curt Warner leaps over a pile of players as he gains yardage against the Denver Broncos in the Kingdome at Seattle, on Dec. 25, 1983. Warner gained 99 yards on 23 carries as the Seahawks beat the Broncos in their NFL wildcard game 31-7. (Jeff Larson / AP)

2. Sonics’ win over Bullets, Game 3 of 1979 NBA Finals: The first year the Sonics called the Kingdome home was the only year they won it all. But due to conflicts with the Mariners, and the way the scheduled worked out, this was the only game at the Dome in the series.

Sonics Paul Silas (with ball), Jack Sikma (41) and Dennis Johnson play an NBA Finals game in the Kingdome. (Jay Lurie / )

1. Mariners’ Game 5 win over Yankees in 1995 ALDS: The double. The slide. The euphoria. Those who were there know that with the right mix of ingredients, the Kingdome was a special place

Seattle Mariners’ Ken Griffey Jr. smiles from beneath a pile of teammates who mobbed him after he scored the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning of Game 5 of the ALDS against the New York Yankees in Seattle, October 8, 1995. (Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press)


5. Scorpions singer gets rocked like a hurricane in 1988: The Kingdome is remembered mostly for the games it hosted, but it also was home to 24 concerts. Scorpions singer Klaus Meine lost his top when he was hit in the neck by a camera thrown from the audience. Reports state he spent about five minutes lecturing the crowd, sang one more song and with the rest of his band cut the show short.

Heavy metal fans at the “Monsters of Rock” show in the Kingdome in 1988.  (Benjamin Benschneider / Seattle Times)

4. The earthquake game in 1996: The repaired roof held up — as did the rest of the building — during a 5.3 earthquake that struck as the Mariners and Indians battled in the seventh inning. The game was called and, after all was declared good, finished the next day.

The ballgirl leaves the field and Mariner fans make a hasty but orderly exit from the Kingdome after the ballgame was suspended because of an earthquake. (Mark Harrison / The Seattle Times)

3. Bo Jackson trucks the Boz on his way to Tacoma on Monday Night Football in 1987: Actually, those were separate runs — Jackson’s 91-yard touchdown in which he ran through the end zone and into the tunnel, leading to the famous call of crew Al Michaels and Dan Dierdorf that Jackson was headed to Tacoma; and a shorter TD in which he broke through the arms of Brian Bosworth into the end zone.

2. 1992 Seahawks, Mariners seasons: The Mariners finished with the second-worst record in baseball at 64-98 a year after achieving their first winning season, and the Seahawks went 2-14 to tie for the worst record in the NFL.

Mariners manager Bill Plummer watches a woeful team as hitting coach Gene Clines consults his clipboard. (Alan Berner / The Seattle Times, 1992 file)

1. Ceiling tiles fall in 1994: At 4:35 p.m. on July 19, stunned Mariners players looked up to see four 26-pound ceiling tiles falling. Had the tiles fallen a few hours later it could have been much worse, and fortunately no one was hurt. The need to fix the roof, though, meant the Mariners had to play the rest of the shortened season on the road.

Tom Long, a Kingdome employee, examines the roof above the 300 level, where ceiling tiles fell onto some seats.  July 20, 1994.(Rod Mar / The Seattle Times)


5. The Rolling Stones gather no moss: Not everyone thought it was a great place for music, but that didn’t stop the Stones from trying. They played there twice in 1981 and again in 1994 and 1997, appearing there more than any musical group.

4. Kingbowl, 1978: For roughly 20 years the Kingdome hosted the high-school state football championships. The highlight may have come in the second year when Peninsula beat Pullman 35-34, scoring the winning TD on an 89-yard punt return by Paul Skansi. The Seattle Times called it the second-best high school football game of the century.


3. Led Zeppelin concert, 1977: Nobody knew they were witnessing history, but Zeppelin’s show that night turned out to be the fourth-to-last the group would play in the United States.

July 18, 1977 clipping from The Seattle Times.

Above: Led Zeppelin fans numbered about 65,000 last night at the Kingdom concert.

Below: Robert Plant, the lead singer, gestured toward the crowd.  (Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times)

2. Billy Graham crusade, 1976: This was actually a nine-day event that drew an estimated 434,100 people, including 74,000 one night when Johnny Cash performed, the largest crowd in the stadium’s history.

The Billy Graham Crusade hit the Kingdome in its early years.  (Jerry Gay / The Seattle Times, 1976)

1. Paul McCartney and Wings concert 1976: It’s hard to beat the first concert in the Kingdome — an appearance by McCartney in his first American tour since the breakup of the Beatles.

A sellout crowd fills the Kingdome to watch Paul McCartney and Wings in 1976   (Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times)