former stadium in Seattle, Washington

King County Stadium (known better as the Kingdome) was a multi-use stadium located in Seattle, Washington. The arena used to serve as the home for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL), the Seattle Sounders of the North American Soccer League (NASL), the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball (MLB), and the Seattle SuperSonics of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

View of the outside of Kingdome in 1996

The Seattle Pilots of Major League Baseball (MLB) began playing in 1969 at Sick's Stadium. MLB did not think that Sick's Stadium was a proper stadium for a major-league team and when they gave them the team, they said that the team must build a new stadium by 1970.[1] The arena was approved by King Country voters with $40 million in bonds and 62% voting in favor on February 13, 1968.[2] The Pilots would not be able to survive until the stadium was built. They were forced to declare bankruptcy and were moved to Milwaukee to become the Milwaukee Brewers.[3]

They first started to build the stadium in November 2, 1972. The groundbreaking ceremony was met with protestors who threw mud at people. They were angry that the stadium was being built near the International District.[4] The city of Seattle was awarded a professional football team by the National Football League (NFL) on December 5, 1974. The team would go to be named the Seattle Seahawks.[5] The arena was opened on March 27, 1976 and the opening ceremony had an attendance of 54,000 people.[6]

The first sporting event to take place in the Kingdome was a exhibition North American Soccer League game between the Seattle Sounders and the New York Cosmos. 58,120 people attended the game, which set a North American record for a soccer game.[7] The first concert in the stadium was by Paul McCartney and Wings on June 10.[8] On August 1, 1976, the Seahawks would play their first preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers in a 27–20 loss.[9] The NFL would hold the Pro Bowl at the Kingdome the next season.[10]

After the lawsuit by Seattle against the MLB for the departure of the Pilots was dropped, the city was awarded an MLB team. The team would be known as the Seattle Mariners.[11] On April 6, 1977, the Mariners would play their first game in a 7–0 loss to the California Angels.[12] On July 17, 1979, the Kingdome hosted the All-Star Game.[13]

When their contract for the Seattle Center Coliseum expired, the Seattle SuperSonics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) moved into the stadium. The SuperSonics would have a successful year in their first year at the stadium. They were able to finish with a record of 52-30, had the #1 seed in the NBA playoffs and were able to win the 1979 NBA Championship after defeating the Washington Bullets 4 games to 1. This was the first championship won in the stadium and also the only championship in SuperSonics history.[14] On April 7, 1985, the SuperSonics would play their final game in the stadium in a 125–110 loss to the Phoenix Suns.[15] However, it was not the end of basketball in the stadium as the NBA would host the 1987 All-Star Game there.[16] The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) would also host the 1984, 1989, and 1995 Final Four tournaments at the Kingdome.[17][18][19]

On June 27, 1999, the Mariners would play their last game at the Kingdome. They defeated the Texas Rangers 5–2 in front of a sellout crowd of 56,000 fans. Ken Griffey Jr. hit the last ever homerun in the stadium.[20] They would move to Safeco Field.

Seahawks owner Ken Behring wanted to move the team to Southern California but the NFL would block the move and would fine Behring $900,000 for every day that the Seahawks were in Anaheim.[21] The team would be bought by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 1997. He would keep the team in Seattle.

On June 17, 1997, a measurement was passed which would fund the building of a new stadium.[22] On January 9, 2000, the final event took place at the stadium. The Seahawks would lose to the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Wild Card game.[23] On March 26, 2000, the Kingdome was demolished with an implosion.[24] It wasn't until March 2015, 15 years after the implosion, that the debt for the stadium was finally retired.[25]


  1. "Seattle OK's ballpark construction at Sicks". Ellensburg Daily Record. Retrieved January 4, 2024.
  2. "National Football League awards Seattle a franchise for future Seahawks on December 5, 1974". HistoryLink. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  3. "The Pilots". Milwaukee Journal. Archived from the original on April 24, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. "How The Kingdome Spurred The Asian-American Community's Coming Of Age". The Seattle Times. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  5. "On This Date: First Step Toward Securing Seahawks Taken". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on July 1, 2019. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  6. "Today in History: Kingdome opens to a crowd of 54000 in 1976". Kiro 7. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  7. "Huge crowd views Pele". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  8. "Let's remember when Paul McCartney played the first ever concert at the Kingdome, on this day in 1976 (June 10)". Medium. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  9. "Fans remember first Seahawks game, 40 years ago today". Kiro 7. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  10. "1977 Pro Bowl game book" (PDF). NFL Game Statistics & Information. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  11. "Seattle, King County, and State of Washington suspend lawsuit against baseball's American League on February 14, 1976, clearing way for Mariners". HistoryLink. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  12. "Seattle Mariners play their first game, a 7-0 loss to the California Angels at the Kingdome, on April 6, 1977". HistoryLink. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  13. "Revisiting an unforgettable 1979 MLB All-Star Game in Seattle's Kingdome". The Seattle Times. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  14. "This Day In Sports: The height of hoops around Puget Sound". KTVB 7. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  15. "So Long, Kingdome - Tomorrow Marks The End Of 'Dome Era' For Sonics". The Seattle Times. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  16. "The Bottom Line -- Television Pays The Bills -- Sonics: Lost Money Until New NBC Contract". The Seattle Times. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  17. "1984 NCAA Basketball Championship". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  18. "They're Still Talking About the Call Against the Hall". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  19. "Twenty years ago, Tyus Edney saved UCLA's last NCAA title run". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  20. "Griffey Jr. Hits Final Home Run in Kingdome History". Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  21. "Seahawks history: Ken Behring and when we almost lost the Seattle Seahawks". MyNorthwest. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  22. "Washington voters approve funding for new Seahawks Stadium on June 17, 1997". HistoryLink. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  23. "Brock & Damon Huard Recall Memories of Final Game In Kingdome". Seattle Seahawks. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  24. "Remembering the Kingdome implosion 19 years later". King 5. Retrieved January 5, 2024.
  25. "Stadium's debts paid off—15 years after implosion". USA Today. Retrieved January 5, 2024.

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