Who was the first MLB team

In the 1960s, top-class sport in Seattle was still idle. Although there was great interest, there was no major team in the city in the northwest of the USA, i.e. no franchise that had its place in one of the major leagues NFL, MLB, NHL or NBA (later the MLS was added) .

In those days baseball was the number one sport - even in Seattle. But in order to be able to place a team in Major League Baseball, the requirement was a stadium that met the requirements. The existing Sick’s Stadium, a baseball stadium with 11,000 seats, did not meet these requirements. In 1967, when Seattle finally received a franchise contract for an MLB team in the American League, the league was required to expand and remodel it to at least 30,000 seats. Since Sick’s Stadium was so dilapidated, the costs exploded so much that the owners were bankrupt after the first season and the team, the Seattle Pilots, moved to Milwaukee in 1970 (Brewers).

Nevertheless, decision-makers and fans in Seattle had tasted blood and although the city was again without a team, those responsible pushed for the construction of a new 40 million stadium (ultimately it cost 67 million US dollars). The Kingdome was opened in 1976 and offered space for over 60,000 visitors, with sporting events and concerts sometimes over 70,000 people.

In the same year, the city was awarded an American football team - the Seahawks were born and moved into the Kingdome as the first major team. The highest attendance at an NFL game was recorded against the Los Angeles Rams in 1976, when 62,532 visitors passed the turnstiles of the multi-purpose arena. Even at that time, the Seattle venue was making a name for itself as one of the loudest in the country. In addition, the Kingdome is still the only stadium in which the all-star games of the three major leagues NFL, NBA and MLB were played.

Over the years it should become clear that in the design and manufacture of the dome of the Kingdome, design and processing errors had caused water to enter and stone slabs to come off. The cost of maintenance grew year on year to over $ 50 million in the end.

This messing around would probably continue today if two things that were decisive from a sporting point of view had not happened in the 90s:

  • In 1995, the Seattle Mariners (MLB) reached the semi-finals of the Championship Series and thus ensured the sustainable underpinning of their claim to get their own, contemporary ballpark.
  • A year later, the then owner of the Seattle Seahawks, Ken Behring, announced that he wanted to relocate the franchise to Los Angeles because of security concerns (earthquake hazard), among other things. A pivotal turn in the history of the NFL team. The move failed only because the Seahawks had not come out of the Kingdome lease before 2005. Behring then offered the team for sale and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen took over the franchise at the last second - the moving cars were already loaded - after he was able to convince the authorities to support a new stadium. The Kingdome was history in 2000.

From then on, the Seattle Seahawks played their NFL home games at CenturyLink Field (previously Seahawks Stadium and Quest Field) and continue to do so today. The Seattle Mariners receive opposing MLB teams in T-Mobile Park (previously Safeco Field) right next door.