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Stadium Commission endorses Seattle Center as site for Kingdome on August 7, 1968.
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On August 7, 1968, the Washington State Stadium Commission unanimously endorses Seattle Center as the best location for Seattle's multipurpose domed stadium, the Kingdome (opened south of Pioneer Square, 1976; imploded 2000).
The choice met opposition from some community members who thought the committee entertained special interests -- businesses that would personally benefit from construction at the Seattle Center site. The Ad Hoc Committee for the Center Site contended that no other site was as cost-effective and appropriate for multiple uses going beyond sporting events. The Committee to Save the Seattle Center disagreed. On May 19, 1970, when the plan to build the stadium at the Center went to the ballot, voters rejected it.
The decision was eventually made to build the Kingdome south of Pioneer Square. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on November 2, 1972, with protesters from the International District, upon which the stadium would impinge, throwing mudballs at the dignitaries. The Kingdome opened on March 27, 1976, to a cheering crowd of 54,000. On that occasion, no one threw a mudball.
The Kingdome served sports fans and many other crowds (events such as the Billy Graham Crusade were held there) for nearly 25 years. The structure was imploded on March 26, 2000. Virtually all of Seattle came out for the Kingdome's last event, its own demise.
Walt Crowley, Rites of Passage: A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995), 258; HistoryLink.org Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History, "Kingdome: The Controversial Birth of a Seattle Icon (1959-1976)" (by Heather MacIntosh), http://www.historylink.org/ (accessed August 6, 2000).
Note: This essay was expanded on August 7, 2000.
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