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Kingdom Implosion 21 years ago.

Mar 26 2021

The Kingdome officially went poof on this day in Seattle history. I was one of the spectators!

March 26, 2021 marked the 21-year anniversary of the demolition of Seattle’s iconic, multi-purpose stadium. On March 26, 2000, the Kingdome was imploded — reduced to dust and rubble in less than 20 seconds. It was quite the event, attentively watched by Seattlelites and a national television audience.

Seattle was ready to move on from the Kingdome by the time it said goodbye forever. Roof leaks and falling ceiling tiles in the ‘90s added to the desire for something new. The implosion made room for what is now Lumen Field and T-Mobile Park.

But the Kingdome, which opened in 1976, in many ways signaled Seattle’s arrival as a major sports city. It housed some of our most iconic sports and music moments. For many, it was a cherished piece of childhood, too.  In college, I sold programs and memorabilia for Mariner and Seahawk games in the early 1990’s.

In the times we live in — of quarantining and social distancing because of the COVID-19 pandemic — the memories of unity and Seattle pride shared within the walls of the Kingdome feel especially important.

The Seahawks, an expansion franchise in 1976, moved in that first year of the Kingdome. The Mariners followed in 1977, and the Sonics came in 1978. For seven years, the Dome had the rare honor of being home to three major-league sports teams.

To this day, the Kingdome was the only building to host the All-Star games of three different major sports leagues: the 1977 NFL Pro Bowl, the 1979 MLB All-Star Game and the 1987 NBA All-Star game. That’s on top of housing three Final Fours.

The Kingdome was synonymous with the Mariners’ 1995 season, when they came within two wins of the World Series. Yes, that’s the year of that iconic image — of Mariners players piling on top of a smiling Ken Griffey Jr., after he scored the winning run in the 11th inning of Game 5 of the ALDS against the New York Yankees.

The “12th man” of the Seahawks first gained its reputation in the Kingdome. The stadium was known as one of the loudest in the country, thanks in large part to the concrete roof. The late Paul Allen made it a point to maintain that special noise factor when working with acoustic experts to design CenturyLink Field.


Kingdome implosion, March 26, 2000.

Pulling back a bit, here’s how the now-Domeless neighborhood looked Sunday morning.

The second in a series of four photos of the Kingdome implosion, March 26, 2000 (Phil H. Webber/ file)

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