Home to the Mariners for 22 seasons,
few Mariners fans were sad to see the Kingdome
imploded in 2000. Before the
Mariners franchise began playing baseball in 1977, MLB awarded
Seattle a franchise in 1969, the Seattle Pilots, who played at
Sicks Stadium. However that franchise was bought by the
Milwaukee Brewers Inc. and moved to Milwaukee for the 1970 season.
Talk of a dome stadium first began in the
1960s. The main problem was the location that the stadium was
going to be built. By 1972, a site for the dome stadium in downtown Seattle was chosen to build on. Construction began soon
after and the dome was completed by March 1976. The stadium was
named the Kingdome because of its location in King County, Washington.
Once again, MLB award Seattle franchise, this time the team was
named the Seattle Mariners.
Opening day came on
April 6, 1977 as over 57,000 fans filled the Kingdome. The Kingdome
consisted of a three tier grandstand. The upper deck extended from
the left field foul pole to home plate and around to right center
field and the first and second decks circled the entire stadium. The
Kingdome was home to football, baseball, basketball, soccer and many
other events during its existence. The right field wall was 23 feet
high and named the 'walla-walla.' A score/video board was located
above the seats in left field. The roof was 250 feet at its highest
point above the Astroturf playing surface. Several speakers that
were in play, dangled considerably lower and were hit numerous times
buy both fair and foul balls.
Very few changes took place at the
Kingdome over the years. In 1990, an out of town scoreboard was
incorporated as part of the right field wall. Hardly anyone liked
the ugly concrete Kingdome. By the early 1990s the Mariners began lobbying to build a
new stadium. In 1994, several tiles from the Kingdome’s roof fell
causing the team to play elsewhere. By 1997, ground was broken for a
Safeco Field. The last Mariners game at the Kingdome was on July
27, 1999. The Seattle Seahawks (NFL), continued to play there until
the end of the 1999 NFL season. On March 26, 2000 the Kingdome was
imploded. The Seattle Seahawks stadium, CenturyLink Field is located on the site
where the Kingdome was located.