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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gerard Cosloy Disses the Kingdome

Posted by on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Gerard Cosloy's résumé regarding important music is long and varied. He started the brilliant zine Conflict as a youth. He probably saw the Freeze and the Proletariat more than a few times, but I'm just guessing on that one. He hung out with G.G. Allin, ran Homestead Records, is part owner of Matador Records, and runs an extremely celebrated sports-heavy blog called Can't Stop The Bleeding.

Yesterday on that blog he referred to Seattle's historic Kingdome as something "hardly anyone misses."


When I first read his post, my mouth dropped open in disbelief, causing Starbucks to dribble all over my North Face fleece. Then I remembered somebody telling me that the Kingdome was a total dump that was prone to drop concrete chunks on your head. Which begs raises the question, "Is Gerard Cosloy right? Does hardly anybody miss the Kingdome?"


Comments (37) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
I didn't live in Seattle when it was around, so I have no opinion, but one of those tiles in on the ceiling at the Comet.
Posted by Avtar on July 31, 2012 at 12:38 PM · Report this
I spent countless nights at the Kingdome at Sounders, Sonics, Seahawks and Mariner games (tell me another venue that hosted four major league teams).
I saw the Final Four (Georgetown and Patrick Ewing vs. Houston and Hakeem Olajowan).
I saw a MLB all star game.
I saw dirt bike races.
I saw boys state basketball championships.
I saw The Clash open for The Who.
I saw J. Geils Band open for The Rolling Stones.
I saw the "Monsters of Rock" in the summer of 1983 (Foreigner, Blue Oyster Cult, Loverboy and some more I can't remember).
I threw up in a urinal and found a bag of weed on the floor of the same bathroom.
I saw it being built and I saw it blown up.
I ran around the concourse as a kid like it was my playground. I met friends outside the Kingdome before Sounder's games to play pick up soccer.
So, yeah, no one misses it except those of us WHO ACTUALLY MISS IT! I'm not sorry we have new and better venues but being in a giant cement dome was really special if you didn't know any better.

Posted by WFSteve on July 31, 2012 at 1:17 PM · Report this
Fnarf 3
Of COURSE I miss the Kingdome. SIXTY-FOUR FUNNY CARS! You don't get that in twee Safeco Field. Or paper airplane contests. I miss being able to hear your cheers echo back at you off the opposite wall. I miss being able to hear individual shouts from around the stands. I miss the flourescent astroturf with visible seams and ripples and stains -- the players used to spit mixed chewing tobacco and bubble gum onto it, and the stains would never come out. I miss the liquor bar, a tiny, low-ceilinged concrete hovel tucked into one of the concourses. I miss coming out of the darkness into the bright sun on a beautiful day that you just wasted three hours of watching the worst goddamn team in baseball barf up another one. I miss the powder blue uniforms. I miss Barry Bonnell and Bruce Bochte and Dave Collins and Jose Baez and Rick Sweet and Jim Maler and Richie Zisk and Domingo Ramos and Al Cowens and Ed Vande Berg and Orlando Mercado and Glenn Abbott and Dave Edler and Mike Parrott and Shane Rawley and Juan Bernhardt and Gene Nelson and Kevin Pasley and Byron McLaughlin and the immortal Dick Pole. These names ring like bells in my imagination today. I REALLY miss the great Ken Phelps. I miss Randy Johnson in the days when you didn't know if he was going to strike out fifteen batters or walk fifteen. I miss the flat, tasteless beer in the wax cups with the condom of plastic wrap stretched across the top. I miss the three-inch speakers which made virtually every announcement unintelligible. I miss my fitted cap, back in the days when such things were unusual, and only came in the same color and design as the players'. I lost that cap running for the bus to the BART to the Oakland stadium to see the Mariners play there years later, knowing that if I went back for it I'd miss the three-hour ride and the game.

I heard the boom of the explosives that brought the Kingdome down early in the morning lying in bed, and cried.
Posted by Fnarf on July 31, 2012 at 1:19 PM · Report this
Sir Vic 4
I miss the troughs in the men's room, despite my otherwise excellent aim.

Also, the Kingdome was one of the most accessible buildings ever. Ramps everywhere. Wheelchair users didn't have to wait for the one fucking elevator to get places.
Posted by Sir Vic on July 31, 2012 at 1:20 PM · Report this
I've never been a big attending-live-sports person, so I only went to maybe 3-4 events at the Kingdome ever. So if one were to argue that it was a shittily designed venue for sporting events, I could neither agree nor disagree.

However, as a native Seattlite of some age, I miss the Kingdome as I miss all the kitschy, quirky, badly-designed relics of this city that have been destroyed to make room for "world class" venues.
Posted by MLM on July 31, 2012 at 1:22 PM · Report this
Sir Vic 6
@3 You omitted Jack Perconte. You are dead to me now.
Posted by Sir Vic on July 31, 2012 at 1:24 PM · Report this
Kinison 7
Been to dozens of different sporting events there and I dont miss it one bit.

Posted by Kinison on July 31, 2012 at 1:25 PM · Report this
I don't miss it. Hated the way it looked on the skyline.
Posted by WestSeven on July 31, 2012 at 1:30 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 9
The best's STILL not paid for!!
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on July 31, 2012 at 1:44 PM · Report this
Enigma 10
I was practically raised in the Kingdome. Baseball, Football, Monster Truck Rallies, concerts galore. But especially the arcade, I poured a ridiculous amount of quarters into the Terminator 2 machine. My dad eventually made a rule that if I wanted to come with him to games I had to watch at least half of the action.

And yeah, I cried when it came down. I was 17 and it felt like the death of my childhood.
Posted by Enigma on July 31, 2012 at 1:50 PM · Report this
Westlake, son! 11
I can't miss it when I'm still paying for it.
Posted by Westlake, son! on July 31, 2012 at 2:00 PM · Report this
Martin H. Duke 12
There's something charming about a ballpark that is built with constraints. In the old days, it was the form of the city streets, and mysterious other factors, that led to bizarre outfields like Fenway Park and the Polo Grounds. At the Kingdome, it was the needs of football.

The modern $500m+ baseball stadiums annihilate everything in their surroundings, reshaping them to fit their needs, molding their environment to recall the quirks of an ancient park that had those quirks out of necessity. It's undeniably cleaner and objectively more pleasant to attend in the bland sense of wider seats, no poles, and a good sound system. But there's a certain purity and honesty in the old way that's lost.
Posted by Martin H. Duke on July 31, 2012 at 2:05 PM · Report this
marymc 13
I have two specific memories of the Kingdome:

#1--In the late 1990's we bought tickets to a Mariners game (my first one). I knew we had cheap seats, but dear god... We got inside the Kingdome, and we climbed..and we climbed...and we climbed...and we climbed...and we looked up and saw that our seats were STILL rows and rows above us. When we got there at last, the players on the field looked like ants. We never went back. When I heard Jay Buhner say that there were games when the Kingdome was so empty, he could hear the toilets flushing from down on the field, I knew exactly why. It was a truly shitty place to try to watch baseball.

#2--A friend who lived in Yesler Terrace threw a viewing party on the day they blew up the Kingdome. We went out and stood in the community garden (which had to have the best view of the action in town) and watched the implosion, and toasted it with cheap champagne. Afterwards we went back inside and had a lovely brunch. That is my only really pleasant memory if the Kingdome.
Posted by marymc on July 31, 2012 at 2:22 PM · Report this
I never set foot inside of it yet I'm obligated to contribute to the ~$60 million still owed on it via my taxes. Stadiums pay for themselves!
Posted by Swearengen on July 31, 2012 at 2:29 PM · Report this
Fnarf 15
@6, I loved Jack Perconte. I used to be able to do at least 5,000 words at the drop of a hat on why Jack Perconte was the best 2B we ever had (this was before Bret Boone) even though he only played one season for us. I have Jack Perconte's baseball card -- more than one (I have at least card for every Mariner who ever appeared for the M's, even if it was one at-bat, in their first 25 years, except for a handful of guys I just can't track down, like Rodney Allen (who I think only has one card, a minor-league card somewhere, good luck with that).

Are we good again?
Posted by Fnarf on July 31, 2012 at 2:29 PM · Report this
At college I took a course in Architecture called "Structures in the Urban Environment" (…).

We looked at a host of buildings but also civic works from buildings to bridges and even overpasses and arenas. We studied the basic mathematics of load and sway, examined materials, reviewed costs and budgets and civic utility, covering a different place and work each week.

Scores were assigned to the overall greatness of each structure.

Do you know what our teacher ranked the highest...out of all the structures from around the world that we studied? Yes...the Kingdome.

And the result of that greatness, civic utility and low cost? Yep...the crooks torn it down!

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on July 31, 2012 at 2:33 PM · Report this
McGee 17
I have been to uncountable games and events in the Kingdome. From 1977 through its end. It looked like an inverted toilet. A truly awful place to see baseball and a football environment that was passable at best. The new stadiums are the only things Seattle has "improved" in the 35 years I've lived here that were actual improvements.
Posted by McGee on July 31, 2012 at 2:51 PM · Report this

To me making a sheer vertical climb to get to the cramped seats of Century or Safeco is not an improvement. The low wide rise of the Kingdome was much more comfortable.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on July 31, 2012 at 2:54 PM · Report this
Sir Vic 19
@15 OK, you have redeemed yourself.
I like to chuckle to myself that the only number the M's have truly retired is Jack's #42, as a tribute to his sprint to first base after a walk (Charley Hustle style).

I mentioned the ramps specifically because of the euphoria they enabled after Game 5 of the '95 ALDS. Hard to get 40k+ fans running around high-fivin' strangers with a shit ton of stairs. Weirdest Seattle moment ever: we all actually looked at each others faces, smiled and didn't care who had the right-of-way!
Posted by Sir Vic on July 31, 2012 at 3:01 PM · Report this
I do miss the Kingdome and those NASL Sounders. Dave Gillett, Tjeert Vant'land to name a couple of my faves.
It wasn't pretty and there were plenty of dismal Mariner games. Who can forget those great games, though? Randy, Jay, Edgar, Kenny, Joey and Luis Sojo?
All those events mentioned above. A huge part of some of our lives and yes, I cried.
Posted by kerala on July 31, 2012 at 3:07 PM · Report this
DOUG. 21
I miss being able to sneak down to the third base line rail on a $5 ticket with a six-pack of tall boys and no hassles from the ushers. But the building itself was a toilet.
Posted by DOUG. on July 31, 2012 at 3:07 PM · Report this
Fnarf 22
Y'all can throw around the word "toilet" all you like, but every one of you has one.
Posted by Fnarf on July 31, 2012 at 3:19 PM · Report this
Geni 23
It was a ghastly place to watch baseball, and I watched a lot of it there. It was a horrible place for soccer - yay, a piece of plastic rug thrown over concrete - and I watched some of it there. It was a perfectly abysmal place for concerts (echoechoechoecho), and I saw dozens there. It was a good place to get mono at a Led Zeppelin concert, though, I did manage to do that.
Posted by Geni on July 31, 2012 at 4:34 PM · Report this
Bauhaus I 24
Ugliest, most depressing stadium in all of baseball.
Posted by Bauhaus I on July 31, 2012 at 5:18 PM · Report this
Fnarf 25
@24, no, it held the ugliest, most depressing TEAM in all of baseball. During the 1995 pennant chase, there wasn't a depressed fan anywhere near the place. The ugliness didn't matter one bit. You think anyone was depressed in the eleventh inning of Game Five when we beat the Yankees? That was in the Kingdome. Nobody cared. (I was in Hoboken, New Jersey, coming perilously close to getting my face beat in in a bar, but I wasn't depressed there, either).
Posted by Fnarf on July 31, 2012 at 6:07 PM · Report this
marymc 26
@18--Where are YOU sitting at Safeco?? We're buying the same kind of cheap seats there that we did at the Kingdome, but there's no comparison--the view of the action is excellent, and the access is much, much better than it was at the Kingdome (and I say that as someone who attends a lot of games with a disabled partner). I don't know if I believe the saying about "There are NO bad seats in Safeco Field," but I haven't sat in any yet.
Posted by marymc on July 31, 2012 at 6:10 PM · Report this
litlnemo 27
The Kingdome did suck to watch baseball in, but during that 1995 series against the Yanks it really was the best place in the world. All those banners on the walls, the extreme ROAR of the crowd, the way people used to whistle at the opposing team's pitchers in the bullpen... It could be wonderful even if you couldn't see the sky.
Posted by litlnemo on July 31, 2012 at 6:36 PM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 28
Wow, what memories. Thanks everyone for yours.

I saw it being built. I saw it come down. And I saw quite a lot of its history. When the Freedon Train pulled into Union Station in the summer of 1976 I was there. Me and my elementary school classmates watched the construction workers balancing on the unfinished ramps. One of them folded a giant paper-airplane out of a piece of cardboard-like insulation. Goddamn thing must have been five feet long. He launched it off the Dome to our cheers, and it sailed away over Georgetown and disappeared into the sky.

My junior high school had an honor program where anyone with a 3.2 grade point scored two free M's tickets. My brother and I attended many games with our parents. My father worked for the Lazy B, and we attended the first Boeing Christmas Party in the Kingdome. Danny Kaye was the Emcee. The sound system was crap and it was impossible to hear any of the speakers. Mr. Kaye tossed aside the mic and spoke to us with his own voice... the acoustics were that good.

My brother worked as an M&M one summer. They were the gofers that fetched stray foul balls and handed out the promotional swag at the gates. He got to see damn near every game that summer, plus he came home with literally truckloads of leftover bats, balls, gloves, hats, and other bric-a-brac. Dad let him borrow the family pickup, not understanding that his son was conscripted into hauling cartons and cartons of team merch around. My brother was let up onto the roof one evening, but he passed on the chance to climb down the long ladder into the DiamondVision projector box that hung over center field. Fear of heights. But what a goddamn memory that would have been.

The Former Used To Be Mrs. Dr. Awesome had a friend who knew a guy in the SPD, and he scored us a place on the Jose Rizal bridge to watch the implosion. Nobody expected that goddamn dust cloud to steamroll its way into downtown but it was friggen awesome to see.

Yeah, I guess I miss the Kingdome. We joked that its free-standing roof would never last, and we used to call it the Doomed Stadium as a play on its more proper nickname, The Domed Stadium.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on July 31, 2012 at 8:05 PM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 29
Seems my memory isn't what it once was. Danny Kaye was the Emcee at the first ever M's game, according to the Fairview Fanny article reporting the history of the dome. Not the Boeing Christmas Party. Although that holds the record for the largest Christmas party ever held.

Back when it was being built, there was a scaffold holding up the very center compression ring as the roof panels were being constructed. There was some concern that the scaffold would need to remain in place (whether this was just idle talk among the adults or an actual reported story, I don't recall. I was nine). That led to some guesses as to whether there would need to be new football rules governing what to do if the Quarterback attempted to hide from the opposing team behind that thing.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on July 31, 2012 at 8:21 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 30
It was ugly, the concourses were cramped, it was LOUD, and just being inside was surreal. But it was a fuck of a lot more fun than Safeco Field, and I bet it was a fuck of a lot more fun than Seahawk Stadium (whatever they're calling it now).
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 1, 2012 at 6:47 AM · Report this
Gern Blanston 31
The Kingdome was great for football, but it really sucked to go inside that concrete tomb to watch a baseball game on a sunny Seattle afternoon.

Also, I thought it was a terrible injustice when Jack Perconte was sent down to AAA to make room for Harold Reynolds, even though Harold eventually became an All Star.
Posted by Gern Blanston on August 1, 2012 at 10:24 AM · Report this
Hell yeah I miss the Kingdome. I saw Nolan Ryan pitch there. I saw Ken Griffey Jr play. I saw Spanky Spangler drop in a car suspended from the dome ceiling onto a pile of cars on the concrete floor. I ate shity hot dogs that came in a plastic bag. I had KingBeers spilled on me. I watched ballgames from terrible seats on the 200 level where you couldn't see the outfield. My dad took me to games there. My godfather took me to games there. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was a shitty stadium but boy did I have some fun times in that place as a kid.
Posted by soundslikepuget on August 1, 2012 at 10:26 AM · Report this
That is an improper use of "begs the question".
Posted by cocktailer on August 1, 2012 at 10:45 AM · Report this
McGee 34
@18 Duly noted. I am sure yours is the common complaint of the Kentus Fattus Piggus. I've climbed plenty fucking high to sit in the ass-crack last row on a razor-blade of an aluminum bleacher at the Kingdome for a Seahawks game where we were so high up the concessioneers wouldn't even walk up there to sell us beer.

@22 Yeah I have a toilet and if you'll notice I don't spend 5 hours hanging around in it.

@30 Well you're just flat fucking wrong but that isn't really anything new.
Posted by McGee on August 2, 2012 at 4:07 PM · Report this
Posted by andylofgren on August 30, 2012 at 1:59 PM · Report this
Posted by andylofgren on August 30, 2012 at 2:32 PM · Report this
I remember that dome and can still hear the rumble from inside as well as the ending crash. I miss it's roar.

Just thought that I would share this special find I have discovered. The old waxed 8oz drinking cup. It says Kingdome on it with the Marineers logo and helmet of the Seahawks.
If anyone would like one for your memories please contact me at offer me something for a cup all proceeds go to our Emergency Shelter here in Lewis County. (I have about 100 never used)
Posted by bohlincarl on January 12, 2013 at 10:16 PM · Report this

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