Tacoma Plan Downsized

Tacoma, Wash., city officials are scaling back plans to improve the 22,500-capacity Tacoma Dome after a $45 million bond measure failed to pass in February.

The current proposal is to borrow $2.6 million from city coffers for short-term improvements including curtains for a theatre configuration and new artificial turf.

About $1 million of those funds would go toward attaching a grid system to the ceiling that would enable a 5,000- to 8,000-seat theatre setting at the 23-year-old Dome, according to the city’s Daily Index.

“We have to maximize revenues and become more flexible,” Mike Combs, director of public facilities, told the paper. “The intent of this strategy is to keep the Tacoma Dome self-sufficient. If we do nothing, we will continue to drain our reserves, become a less viable option for promoters, agents and artists, and become a burden to the general fund.”

Officials estimate that a smaller configuration could draw 12 extra concerts per year, bringing in more than $500,000 in additional revenue.

There is also talk of shopping naming rights for the venue, the paper said.

The Dome is scheduled to host the “American Idol Tour” September 9th.