The Tacoma Dome from the north
|Location||2727 East D Street|
|Public transit|| Tacoma Dome Station|
|Owner||City of Tacoma|
|Operator||City of Tacoma|
|Capacity||5,000 – 23,000
|Broke ground||July 1, 1981|
|Opened||April 21, 1983|
|Construction cost||$44 million|
($111 million in 2018 dollars)
|Architect||McGranahan Messenger Associates|
|General contractor||Merit Co.|
|Tacoma Stars (MISL) (1983–1992)|
Tacoma Rockets (WHL) (1991–1995)
Seattle SuperSonics (NBA) (1994–1995)
Tacoma Sabercats (WCHL) (1997–2002)
NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship (1989–1990)
Seattle Sounders (USL First Division) (1994)
WIAA state football tournament (1995–2019)
WIAA boys' state basketball tournament
(2001–present) partial schedule
Upon winning an international design competition, local architects McGranahan and Messenger completed the Tacoma Dome for $44 million; it opened 36 years ago on April 21, 1983. The arena seats 20,722 for basketball; 530 feet (160 m) in diameter and 152 feet (46 m) in height, it is able to seat 23,000, and is the largest arena with a wooden dome in the world by volume.
The wood used to make the roof came from trees that were downed in the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. (The Superior Dome in Marquette, Michigan, is a larger-diameter geodesic dome at 536 feet (163 m), but is 143 feet (44 m) high and seats a maximum of 16,000.) Unlike most other arenas of its size, the arena contains little in the way of fixed seating, so as to maximize the flexibility of the seating arrangements and of the shape of the playing field. It can host American football, albeit with seating reduced to 10,000.
It was Seattle SuperSonics' home floor for the 1994–95 season while the Seattle Center Coliseum was renovated into KeyArena, as well as various regular-season Sonics games during other seasons. It also hosted the Tacoma Rockets (WHL) from 1991 to 1995, the Tacoma Sabercats (WCHL) from 1997 to 2002, the Tacoma Stars indoor soccer team of the MISL from 1983 to 1992, gymnastics and figure skating events during the 1990 Goodwill Games, and numerous other minor-league ice hockey and indoor soccer teams. The dome also hosted the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship in back-to-back years (1989–1990). It was the site of the NCAA Division I-AA football championship game in 1985 and 1986.
Michael Jackson was scheduled to perform three concerts on October 31 and November 1 and 2, 1988, during his Bad Tour. Although all the shows sold out, the concerts were cancelled because of the performer's serious health problems.
World Championship Wrestling held their Spring Stampede pay-per-view at the dome on April 11, 1999. Diamond Dallas Page defeated WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair, Hollywood Hogan and Sting (with Randy Savage as special guest referee) in a Four Corners match to win the title.
During a Monster Jam event at the Tacoma Dome in January 2009, a piece of debris from a truck flew into the stands during a freestyle performance, killing a six-year-old spectator and injuring another spectator. This is so far the only fatality to occur at a Monster Jam event.
On February 2, 2016, the Tacoma Dome started new security procedures for entering the venue at the sold-out AC/DC concert. The new enhancements included metal detector wands at each entrance, a bag size restriction, the prohibition of backpacks, and the search of all bags before entry.
In November 2016, the City of Tacoma approved a two-year, $21.3 million renovation project. The renovations took place over the summer of 2018, with the cost rising to $30 million. The renovations were completed on October 8, 2018.
The venue hosted WWE's Stomping Grounds pay-per-view event on Sunday, June 23, 2019, the first professional wrestling pay per view since Spring Stampede 20 years earlier. In addition, the eleventh season of American Ninja Warrior qualifiers took place at that venue.
The Tacoma Dome is also known for its controversial neon art. In 1984, the Stephen Antonakos piece displayed inside the dome was the subject of intense debate over public funding of artworks for public works projects.
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- Ruiz, Don (September 19, 2013). "Can aging Tacoma Dome still provide a fitting home for pro sports?". The News Tribune. Tacoma, WA. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
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- "Superior Dome". NMU.edu. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
- Cafazzo, Debbie (January 11, 2016). "David Bowie played Tacoma as first rock performer at the Dome". Tacoma News-Tribune. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
- "Traffic Impacts During the Goodwill Games" (PDF).
- "vintage Ice Hockey Programs memorabilia for sale from Gasoline Alley Antiques". GasolineAlleyAntiques.com. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
- "Canucks 4, Sharks 1". APNewsArchive.com. Associated Press. September 19, 1996. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
- Barnes, Brooks (June 26, 2009). "Michael Jackson: A thrilling pop icon, a troubled soul". Seattle Times. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
He was scheduled to appear at the Tacoma Dome in October 1988 — selling more than 70,000 tickets over three nights — but canceled the day before the opening show, due to the flu.
- "Security Update". TacomaDome.org. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
- Bryant, Tammi (November 30, 2016). "CITY OF TACOMA ANNOUNCES PLANS TO RENOVATE THE TACOMA DOME" (PDF). TacomaDome.org. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
Renovations will begin in summer of 2017. New seating will be installed during summer of 2018, with all renovations completed by fall of 2018.
- Riedtmulder, Michael (April 17, 2018). "My Favorite Things, Part II". The News Tribune. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
- King, Jennifer (October 8, 2018). "Tacoma Dome reopens after $30 million renovation". KING-TV. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
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