Tenants: Seattle Mariners (AL), Seattle Seahwaks (NFL).
Opened: March 27, 1976
First Mariners game: April 6, 1977
Last Mariners game: June 27, 1999
Demolition: March 26, 2000
Capacity: 59,166 (baseball); 66,000 (football).
Architect: Naramore, Skilling and Praeger
Owner: King County
Cost: $67 million
Seattle Mariners tickets:
Location: Left field (N), 201 South King Street; third base (W), 589 Occidental Avenue South; first base (S), South Royal Brougham Way; right field (E), Fourth Avenue South and Burlington Northern Railroad tracks.
Dimensions: Left field: 315 (1977), 316 (marked, 1978), 314 (actual, 1978), 324 (1990), 331 (1991); left-center: 375 (1977), 365 (1978), 357 (1981), 362 (1990), 376 (1991); deep left-center: 385 (1990), 389 (1991); center field: 405 (1977), 410 (1978), 405 (1981), 410 (1986), 405 (1991); deep right-center: 375 (1990), 380 (1991); right-center: 375 (1977), 365 (1978), 357 (1981), 352 (1990); right field: 315 (1977), 316 (1978), 314 (1990), 312 (1991); speakers in left (3), left-center, and center: 110 (1977), 133.5 (1981); 11 other speakers: 132; backstop: 63; apex of dome: 250; foul territory: large.
Fences: Left field: 11.5 (wood, 1977), 17.5 (6 plexiglass over wood, 1988), 11.5 (wood, 1990); center field: 11.5 (wood, 1977); right field: 11.5 (wood, 1977), 23.25 (wood, 1982).
A $67-million concrete multipurpose stadium, the Kindome's seating was designed for football and opened with a soccer match on April 9, 1976. The first baseball sellout in Kingdome history didnít come until Opening Night 1990 (in the teamís 14th season) and the team has drawn as many as 2 million fans only three times. The stadium is 660 feet in diameter and 250 feet high at the apex of its concrete dome.†Four ceiling tiles fell a few hours before the gates were to open for a Mariners game in 1994.†This forced the Mariners to play their final 15 games of the season, before a strike ended it, on the road.†The repairs to the roof cost $70 million.
The Kingdome hosted the All-Star Game in 1979. Gaylord Perry won the 300th game of his career there in 1982, and both Randy Johnson (1990) and Chris Bosio (1993) pitched no-hitters there. Baseball history was made when Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. started a game together in the same outfield, marking the first time that a father and son had taken the field together as players.
- The name "Kingdome" is derived from the stadium's location in King County, Washington.
- Large American flag flies above the concrete dome.
- Carpet is rolled out by the Rhinoceros machine and smoothed by the Grasshopper machine after it has been zipped together.
- Sickís Stadium (home of the departed AL Seattle Pilots) home plate on display in Royal Brougham trophy case.
- In the winter of 1980-1981, the three speakers above left, left-center, and center fields were raised from 102 to 133.5 feet to reduce the chance of their being hit again.
- Two foul balls have gone up without coming down. On August 4, 1979, Ruppert Jones of the Mariners hit a foul ball that stuck in the speaker above the first base dugout, thus disproving the old adage of physics that what goes up must come down. On May 20, 1983, the Marinersí Ricky Nelson managed the same feat. Both flyballs were ruled strikes.
- Called "the Tomb" by visiting sportswriters because itís gray and quiet.
- 42 air-conditioning units, 16 in fair territory, 26 in foul territory, 8 ducts in each unit. These blow air in toward the field, which means fewer home runs in what would normally be a home run hitterís park because of its short 357-foot power alleys.
- For a couple of seasons, outfield distances were marked on fences in both feet and fathoms (1980). (1 fathom equals 6 feet).
- Third deck highest at third base and in right field. AL East and AL West standings posted on right-field third-deck facade.
- Plate moved 10 feet toward first-base dugout in 1990 in a change that altered outfield distances.
- 23-foot wall in right and right-center is called the Walla Walla.
- New classic "in-play" 123-foot-by-11Ĺ-foot scoreboard placed on right-field wall in 1990 in dramatic facelift.
More on the Kingdome:
Recommended Reading (bibliography):
- Take Me Out to the Ballpark: An Illustrated Tour of Baseball Parks Past and Present by Josh Leventhal and Jessica Macmurray.
- The Ballpark Book: A Journey Through the Fields of Baseball Magic (Revised Edition) by Ron Smith and Kevin Belford.
- City Baseball Magic: Plain Talk and Uncommon Sense about Cities and Baseball Parks by Philip Bess.
- Diamonds: The Evolution of the Ballpark by Michael Gershman.
- Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebration of All 273 Major League and Negro League Ballparks by Philip J. Lowry.
- Lost Ballparks: A Celebration of Baseball's Legendary Fields by Lawrence S. Ritter.
- Roadside Baseball: A Guide to Baseball Shrines Across America by Chris Epting.
- The Story of America's Classic Ballparks (VHS).
- Modern Marvels - Domed Stadiums (VHS).
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View of Seattle and the Kingdome by Munsey & Suppes.
Aerial view of the Kingdome © 1999 by Paul Hammaker.
View inside the Kingdome © 1999 by Ira Rosen.
View of right field corner © 1999 by Paul Hammaker.
View down the 3rd base line © 1999 by Paul Hammaker.
Updated April 2005
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