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Category: Tacoma Dome


City solicits bids for Tacoma Dome NBA study, even as arena deal in Seattle takes form

The City of Tacoma this week issued a formal request for bids for a study of what it would take to bring a pro basketball or hockey team to the Tacoma Dome.

Among other things, the city’s solicitation seeks to find a consultant to study the “potential market reality for NBA and /or NHL franchise in the Tacoma
Dome,” as well as determine what corporate support may exist to draw a major professional sports franchise to town.

The study would also seek to determine the cost of upgrades needed to bring the aging Dome up to NBA or NHL

Read more »


Investors, civic group reportedly in talks about potential NBA arenas in Seattle, Bellevue

As we mentioned in a story last month, Tacoma city officials are moving ahead with a planned feasibility study to find out if the Tacoma Dome can support a professional sports team.

Meantime, it appears efforts to build an NBA-worthy arena in Seattle and on its Eastside are also ramping up.

Last week, KING-TV reported that “Arena Solution,” a group of civic and business leaders seeking to bring pro basketball back to the Seattle area, is in active talks with  King County Executive Dow Constantine and other local government officials.

The group, which includes former Seattle Supersonics’ executive Bob Whitsett and local developer and former Sonics’ minority owner Craig Kinzer, is also reportedly lining up potential investors to fund a new arena. The KING report noted Bellevue remains the front-runner to land an arena, though it also mentioned the City of Bothell is now making real estate  inquiries for an arena project.

And on Sunday, The Seattle Times reported that Seattle city officials have been approached by a group of investors interested in building a new basketball arena in Seattle’s SoDo District, near SafeCo Field. According to the Times’ story, based on unidentified sources:

The proposal involves an investor who has acquired property, apparently south of Safeco Field, although at least one business owner has declined to sell, according to the sources.

Mayor Mike McGinn has been working with the group for several months to explore how the city can aid the effort, including help with financing, the sources said.

So where’s that leave Tacoma? Read more »


Here are some pretty cool renderings of what Andy Warhol’s “Flower for Tacoma Dome” would look like

On Sunday I helped launch a trial balloon to see if there is political will and public support for placing one of two Andy Warhol art works on the Tacoma Dome.

It isn’t as off-the-wall as it sounds. Warhol was one of four finalists in 1982 for the 1 percent for the arts program when the dome was built. He wasn’t selected, but City of Tacoma arts administrator Amy McBride has been quietly looking into the idea of replacing the 80’s suburban bath tile design that is on the dome now with the Warhol.

Read the linked column if you want to know more. And take a look at these renderings that McBride had done to show what it might look like. As part of his submission, Warhol sent two lithographs – one blue and one yellow. The lithographs, now valued at $70,000, are displayed on the ballroom level of the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. Read more »


Tacoma: Public assembly facilities director Combs to retire

Mike Combs, the city’s longtime public assembly facilities director, will retire at the end of April, city officials announced today.

Combs, who manages operations of the Tacoma Dome, convention center and other city-owned public assembly venues, has worked at the city for 25 years. His retirement is set to come after a $30 million renovation project at Cheney Stadium is completed in April.

Here’s the press release on Combs’ retirement issued by the city today:

Mike Combs, the director of Public Assembly Facilities for the City of Tacoma recently announced his retirement for the end of April 2011.

Read more »


Tacoma: State awards city stimulus bonds for T-Dome parking project

The state has awarded the City of Tacoma the rights to sell $9.4 million in federal stimulus bonds that will help the city erect a modular parking garage next to the Tacoma Dome.

The award essentially authorizes the city to issue special tax exempt bonds for the parking project, which aims to build a pre-fabricated structure to create some 600 new parking spaces.

We recently wrote about the T-Dome parking project when the city sought to obtain the unused stimulus bonds that were becoming available (The accompanying demonstration video also provides a look at the type of modular parking structure now being eyed for the project). Some of the project’s details have since changed from our last report, including a decision over where the prospective structure will be located.

City officials are now planning to build two pre-fabricated garages on existing Tacoma Dome lots other than the one initially proposed, across from the Dome at 27th and D Streets, just west of the LeMay Museum.

The new project sites include building one modular garage with about 250 spaces on the Dome’s I and J lots, located between the dome and the Best Western Tacoma Dome Hotel. A second, larger modular garage consisting of 350 to 400 spaces would then be built on Lot G, located behind the Dome to the northeast. The new locations would offer motorists easier access to I-5, officials say.

In all, the structures would replace about 600 of the roughly 1,000 parking spaces lost due to development of the LeMay museum, city spokesman Rob McNair-Huff said today. The city is also looking at providing shuttle services for Dome patrons to other nearby parking areas, including the Pierce Transit lot, he added.

City public works officials are now preparing bid documents for the project, though bid selection, contract award and construction likely won’t occur until next year, McNair-Huff said.

Here’s a press release from Gov. Chris Gregoire‘s office last week announcing that Tacoma’s parking project is among those to win stimulus grants statewide:
Read more »