The first game played at Houston’s Astrodome was an exhibition between the New York Yankees and Houston Astros on April 9, 1965. Dubbed “The 8th Wonder of the World,” the Astrodome was the first dome in major league history and the first to use a synthetic surface that became known as “AstroTurf.”
Construction of the Astrodome began in 1962 and was home to the Astros through the 1999 season. It stood 18 stories tall and covered 9.5 acres. The dome was 710 feet in diameter and the ceiling was 208 feet above the playing surface, which itself sat 25 feet below street level. The Astrodome also hosted the NFL’s Oilers and also briefly was the home of the Houston Rockets.
A sold-out crowd of 47,879 watched the exhibition game between the Astros and the Yankees. President Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife Lady Bird were in attendance and were delighted to see Mantle hit the first homer in the new wonder.