When it opened in 1965, the Astrodome in Houston, or Harris County Domed Stadium as it was called, was the world’s first multi-purpose domed sports stadium and over the course of its history it hosted just about every kind of event you could imagine. While the stadium once nicknamed “Eighth Wonder of the World” is no longer in use and is currently facing the wrecking ball its history and place in sports, architecture, music and cultural history is unmistakable. Here are 12 memorable events that took place beneath the dome.
The Game of the Century
A crowd of 52,963 turned out for the “Game of the Century” between the University of Houston Cougars and the UCLA Bruins on Jan. 20, 1968. The crowd set a record for a basketball game that stood until 2003 and was the first NCAA regular season game broadcast nationwide in primetime. Houston, coached by Guy V. Lewis, defeated John Wooden’s Bruins 71-69 and were led by a 39-point performance from Elvin Hayes.
Ali vs Williams
Muhammed Ali fought and knocked out Cleveland Williams in the Astrodome on Nov. 14, 1966.
The Houston Astros lost what at the time was the longest post-season game in MLB history in 1986 to the eventual World Series champion New York Mets in 16 innings. The Astros later broke the record at Minute Maid Park with an 18-inning win but the 1986 NLCS still holds up as one of the truly great playoff series in baseball history.
The Battle of the Sexes Tennis Match
The Battle of the Sexes tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs was held at the dome on Sept. 20, 1973. King defeated Riggs in three straight sets.
Elvis performed at the Astrodome six times between February and March of 1970, drawing a total crowd of 200,000 and returned to play for a massive crowd again on March 3, 1974.
Robert Altman’s 1970 comedy Brewster McCloud was set at the Astrodome, which was the home of the eccentric young title character.
Evel Knievel drew 100,000 spectators over back-to-back nights to see him jump 13 cars on his motorcycle in January 1971.
Bad News Bears
The Bad News Bears played at the dome in an exhibition game against the fictional Houston Toros in the 1977 film The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training.
1989 NBA All-Star Game
A crowd of 44,000 was on hand for the 1989 NBA All-Star Game.
A record-breaking attendance of 67,925 came out for WrestleMania X-Seven on April 1, 2001.
Friday Night Lights
The state championship in the 2004 film Friday Night Lights was filmed at the dome even though the game in real life was played in Austin.
Scenes for the 2001 U2 video for the song “Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” were filmed at the dome, which amounts to nearly every scene in the video not featuring a member of the band. You can watch the video HERE.
If you have stadium seats from the Astrodome and are looking for floor stands for your seats, click HERE.