On March 26, 2000 — 20 years ago this week — the Kingdome was imploded to make way for the shiny new stadiums that took its place.
For more than 20 years, though, the concrete dome was home to the Mariners, Sonics and Seahawks and hosted some of the city’s most memorable concerts and gatherings. Among our top 10 Kingdome moments were the Seahawks’ first playoff win there in 1983, MLB and NBA All-Star games and the Mariners’ Game 5 win over the Yankees in the 1995 ALDS.
With so many different events held there, we wanted to hear your favorite memories of the Kingdome.
Here are the best responses:
“So many memories here. I think my favorite was the 1995 Final Four open practice. UCLA (O’Bannons,) Arkansas (Corills Williamson), UNC (Rasheed , Stackhouse), But most memorable was Oklahoma State (Big Country Reeves)broke the backboard.” –Greg Uesugoi
“One of my favorites was I think in 1981 against the Yankees, Tom Paciorek hit 3 run bombs two consecutive nights in bottom of the ninth against Goose Gossage and Ron Davis when the Mariners were two runs down. Paciorek came from a loaded Dodger system that my older brother Ted was in as a left handed pitcher. I was there the first night over first base area before the game and introduced myself to Tom. He was delighted to talk to me and catch up on my brother who Tom had fond memories of. He said he’d leave me some tickets for the following night, I said thanks and have a good game. Did he ever — the tickets he left me for the second night were right behind first base dugout. It seemed like the same game replayed and he came up and delivered again. A patented laser to the bleachers in left center, it was surreal. … Another brother still remembers Niehaus’ radio call one of those magical nights: ‘Swung on and belted deep—.’ And the look on Gossage and Davis’s face walking back to the dugout was priceless.” –Jon Gilje
“While watching the Baltimore Orioles batting practice one evening in the late 1970s, a coach took his place sporting the name ‘Robinson’ on the back of his uniform. I said to my buddy, ‘Hey, there goes a Hall of Famer right there.’ Then one of us (either my buddy or I) yells out, ‘Yeah, FLOYD ROBINSON!’ Well, Frank Robinson heard us, slowly turned his head, looked at us and gave us a scowl like you wouldn’t believe. Then he turned back toward the field and shifted his weight from one leg to the other as if shaking his booty at us. Here’s the upshot: Several months later, Robinson’s name was mentioned as a possible candidate to fill the Mariners’ managerial vacancy. Quite quickly, word came back from Baltimore that Frank was not interested. I speculate that part of his reasoning might have been: ‘Why should I go to a faraway podunk town where some hairy yahoos know me as Floyd Robinson?’ True story.” –John Strayer
“Many great memories of the Kingdome; my favorite however had to be the Monday Night Football Game against the Raiders — everyone wore white T-shirts with the red circle crossing out the Raiders insignia. What I most remember was the noise level, I woke up the next morning and my ears were still ringing, true story.” –Anonymous
“In the late spring of 1980, there was a baseball tryout that was originally scheduled to take place at Bellevue CC. The weather was terrible and the tryout was cancelled. I’m not sure how things went down, but myself and three other pitchers were told to go to the Kingdome. It was amazing being down on field level in an almost empty Dome. There were about six scouts there including one of the head Mariner scouts. We were told to take our time and get good and warm when it was our turn to throw. I probably made the mistake of being last because about the time I felt good and loose, it was time to go. I tried to plead with them to no avail. I don’t know who was catching, but he came up to me afterwards and remarked that he had never seen a fastball with as much movement as mine. I thanked him for the compliment and as we were leaving the Mariner scout gave us each a baseball as a momento of our tryout. I neglected to tell him that I had already put about a half dozen baseballs in with my gear. Just getting that chance is something I will always remember and it was and still is a story I enjoy telling.” –John Cederholm
“Opening night. Last row of 300 level. Was so far away we could hardly see. Sec 109 of M’s games, was where my friends would hang out. NBA all-star game, where Magic gifted Tom Chambers MVP.” –Anonymous
“Having a father who couldn’t wait for NFL football, taking me to my first game in 1976 when I was 10 against Dallas. Then hearing him state, ‘This is the most wonderful thing I have ever seen.’ And wondering, ‘What about when I was born?’ –David Wallace
“I’ll never forget seeing Paul McCartney and his band Wings in June 1976, the Dome’s first year of existence. I was 15. It was the last day of school, and my friends and I headed downtown early to line up for our ‘general admission’ seats. Thousands had the same idea. A massive throng waited hours for doors to open. As the moment grew closer, the restless queue was roused when suddenly the former Beatle himself, along with members of his band, appeared on one of the building’s outdoor ramps. He waved. We cheered. Inside the Dome, my friends and I eschewed the bleachers and crowded onto the field near the stage. Another long wait ensued before the huge building darkened and the band appeared. The roar of the crowd overwhelmed the opening number, the gentle ‘Venus and Mars.’ By the time the band kicked into ‘Rock Show,’ the massive sound system turned the Dome into the world’s biggest indoor echo chamber. My ears adjusted to the gigantic sound, and the crowd settled in to experience an epic performance by the hit-making legend, replete with smoke, pyrotechnics, and lasers: Seventies arena rock at its finest! It was the first of many rock shows at the Kingdome; at the time it was reputed the 67,000 in attendance comprised the largest indoor audience for a single act in history. Paul McCartney played the Kingdome a second time many years later with a different band. No ‘festival seating’ that time; chairs covered the floor of the dome. It was another fine show, but I wasn’t 15 anymore. Nothing will top the memories of that insane night in 1976 that christened the Kingdome as a Palace of Rock.” –Corwin Haeck
“The greatest concert I ever saw, Wings Over America. Even in the 300 level it was fantastic.” –Allan Hyatt
“I remember going to several World Paper Airplane competitions. You would buy paper to fold into paper airplanes. Then you’d go to the 300 level and launch them toward targets on the Kingdome floor. If your plane flew through the skyroof of a car in the middle of the floor, you won the use of that car for a year. Only once did a plane of mine make to the floor, nowhere near ANY target. My planes usually took a curved path into the 200 level. But it was fun and a great way to spend an hour, admiring other people having better luck (and skill).” –Brian Kramer