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.
TOP 10 MOMENTS
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
OTHER NOTABLE EVENTS
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.
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.
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.