City clears debt for bankrupt Tacoma Dome advertiser

Tacoma City Council Tuesday cleared an outstanding debt owed by an agency that once advertised in the Tacoma Dome but has since gone bankrupt.

According to Public Facilities Director Mike Combs, the city entered into a five-year, $230,000 contract with Headline News in 1994 for a series of advertising panels. Four years later, the contract was canceled due to non-payment. The city tried to collect on the debt, but “the individuals with knowledge of the agreement and attempts to recover the outstanding debt are not longer available,” Combs told councilmembers Tuesday. “This account was written off as bad debt many years ago but remained on the general ledger. This is an accounting process that removed this debt from the general ledger. This action has no impact on the general fund and no impact on the Dome’s operating fund.” Combs said the advertising agency Headline News was not related to CNN Headline News. “This company actually was in business for a couple of years. This is actually was for restroom advertising, [which was] kind of a fad in the mid- to late-1990s. Some of you might recall that was done in many facilities over the years. Unfortunately, it didn’t take off and this company went out of business.”

The total amount of debt equaled $32,824.25. Tacoma Municipal Code requires City Council to clear any debts over $25,000. City council approved a resolution Tuesday to clear the debt.