March 26, 2000: Kingdome imploded

Fourteen years ago today, Seattle’s Kingdome was demolished.

The following day’s Herald front page reads “Touchdown! Implosion blasts stadium to Kingdome come.” The caption under the main photo refers to the building as much anticipated in the early days and dreaded as an “anachronistic eyesore” near the end.

The multipurpose stadium was opened in 1976 and operated by King County. Throughout the years it hosted the Seahawks, SuperSonics, Mariners and Sounders, as well as concerts and events. CenturyLink Field now stands in its place.

The Herald article follows two men who traveled from the 216-person town of Humptulips to witness the implosion. One of them, Frank Hejna, was a Harley Davidson motorcycle mechanic.

“There ain’t much action where we live,” Hejna says.

They rented a hotel room in Seattle and awoke at 4 a.m. to get in line for a good view. An hour later, they were joined only by a Seattle Center worker sweeping the area beneath the Space Needle.

“We figured there would be a whole bunch of people here,” Hejna says. “Not too many people had the same idea, I guess.”

Later, though, thousands would show up to see the Guinness World Record-setting implosion.

“It’s stomped flat,” one onlooker says. “Godzilla couldn’t have done a better job.”

Also in the news were the 72nd Academy Awards. Kevin Spacey, who in 2014 may have reached the pinnacle of his fame with “House of Cards,” had just won Best Actor for “American Beauty,” a dark comedy about a melancholic man sulking around suburbia. The film won a total of five awards, including Best Picture.

Best Actress went to Hillary Swank for her role as a transsexual man in “Boys Don’t Cry.” Swank lived in Bellingham for a spell before heading to Hollywood.

Read more from The Herald’s March 27, 2000, issue and others in our collection of historic front pages.

More in Local News

Within an hour, 2 planes crash-land at Paine Field

One simply landed hard and went off the end of a runway. Another crash involved unextended landing gear.

Mill Creek’s Donna Michelson ready to retire at year’s end

The city’s longest-serving council member says she has every intention of staying involved.

Leanne Smiciklas, the friendly lady who served customers of her husband’s Old School Barbeque from a schoolbus parked in front of the Reptile Zoo east of Monroe, has died at 64. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
Without her, beloved BBQ hotspot in Monroe can’t go on

Leanne Smiciklas, who ran the now-closed Old School BBQ along Highway 2 with her husband, died.

Foundation awards grants to Arlington schools

The Arlington Education Foundation on Nov. 13 presented a check to the… Continue reading

Snohomish County firefighters head to California for 18 days

They’re from Fire District 26 in Gold Bar, Getchell Fire and Fire District 7.

State commission reprimands Snohomish County judge for DUI

Judge Marybeth Dingledy had pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a day in jail.

Driver arrested after car strikes pedestrian in Everett

The pedestrian was crossing the road near 12th Street and Broadway. He was injured.

Active Casino Road volunteer honored for work

Molina Healthcare recently honored Jorge Galindo, from Everett, as one of its… Continue reading

Over $12K raised to InspireHER

InspireHER, a local organization that encourages female empowerment, raised over $12,000 at… Continue reading

Most Read