Monster trucks are coming back to the Tacoma Dome this weekend, and promoters will give a safety inspection demonstration to the media Thursday morning.
Five Monster Jam shows are scheduled in the Dome Friday through Sunday; two of them on the first anniversary of an accident that killed a 6-year-old Graham Elementary kindergartner.
Sebastian Hizey died of head injuries after he was struck by a hunk of metal that flew off a truck and soared into the stands during a show on Jan. 16, 2009. An Edgewood man was severely injured in the accident.
Monster Jam officials will talk Thursday morning about “modifications made to the inspection process” since the behemoth trucks were last in Tacoma., according to a press advisory.
News crews haven’t been invited to before-event inspections in the past.
“Members of the media can join the operations team and follow the safety inspection process for the most popular monster trucks in the world,” a Monster Jam media alert says.
“We wanted to make sure that people are confident and comfortable in coming to our shows,” Feld Motor Sports spokeswoman Amy McWethy told The News Tribune Wednesday.
“We wanted to show and demonstrate the inspection process that our trucks go through.”
Feld Entertainment, the show’s parent company, settled a claim with the boy’s father, Jessie Hizey, in August. The sum of the settlement was not disclosed.
The company and its attorneys are working with another injured fan toward a resolution of his claim, McWethy said.
Bill Easterly, a senior company official, is scheduled to discuss details of safety precautions during the demonstration Thursday.
H’s satisfied the company takes every precaution possible to ensure the safety of spectators, drivers and other show personnel, he told The News Tribune last month.
The city’s contract with the company requires it to provide $2 million in liability insurance and contains provisions protecting the city from claims.
Tacoma Dome officials said last month they’ve worked with Feld on some safety issues, but they rely on the show presenter to ensure the huge trucks are safely operated during the drive-and-smash spectacles.
The Monster Jam is returning to Tacoma because it’s a popular event with a big fan base in the Puget Sound area, promoters and Tacoma Dome officials said.
Five Monster Jam shows are scheduled over the weekend, with tickets selling for $10 and $20, not including a $2 facility fee or handling and service fees.