Tacoma’s mayor and City Council say they want to know what it would take to revamp the aging Tacoma Dome to draw a pro basketball or hockey team to town – and they’re willing to pay up to $100,000 to find out.
“The NBA will be back in this market,” Mayor Marilyn Strickland said Tuesday. “When they are, I want Tacoma to be in the mix of that discussion.”
Backed by local business leaders and area politicians, the City Council agreed Tuesday to pay for part of a market feasibility study for attracting a National Basketball Association or National Hockey League team to the Dome.
The study would examine options and costs for upgrading the 29-year-old facility to NBA and NHL standards, and determine whether there’s corporate interest to help support such an endeavor, Strickland said.
“We haven’t started any conversations with (NBA Commissioner) David Stern, the NBA or anyone in the NHL,” the mayor said. “…We want to know truthfully and honestly if the Tacoma Dome can support something like this.”
City officials hope Pierce County will share part of the study’s estimated $100,000 cost. The Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board also has committed to contributing $5,000 for the study, Strickland said.