Tacoma Venues & Events (TVE) invites the community to celebrate the Tacoma Dome’s 40th anniversary at a free community event, and to observe “Tacoma Dome Day” on the Dome’s birthday. As we go to press, City of Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards is expected to declare April 21, 2023 as Tacoma Dome Day, by proclamation at the April 18 City Council meeting. Celebrations will continue with the free community event T-Town: Play. Explore. Learn. on April 28 and 29. In addition, a documentary is in production and will be screened at the Dome in August.
Since its grand opening on April 21, 1983, the Dome has hosted more that 31 million people at thousands of events drawing diverse audiences from Tacoma and beyond, generating significant economic impact for the City of Tacoma and providing a source of civic pride.
“The Tacoma Dome is a place where lasting memories are made and provides once-in-a-lifetime experiences for our community, like high school graduations, championship games, and headline performances,” said Mayor Victoria Woodards. “I remember attending my first concert there when I saw Whitney Houston sing and, more recently, when Michelle Obama was on her book tour. The Dome is an iconic structure in our community that represents our city’s identity and draws visitors from across the region and beyond.”
A landmark at the gateway to the City of Destiny, the Dome has been the gathering place for the community for decades, hosting sporting events, graduations, cultural celebrations, and putting Tacoma on an international stage with the world’s biggest concert tours making the Dome a must-stop.
A campaign in the mid-1970s brought the dream of “A Dome of Our Own” into reality, as business leaders and Tacoma residents came together to pitch the idea of a multi-purpose domed facility and support the campaign for a Dome in the South Sound. In March of 1980, Tacoma voters approved a $27M bond and turned to community members to establish a Jury of Recommendation to select a team of architects, engineers, and contractors. The seven selected jury members of Jacki Skaught, Fred Pritchard, Del Hobbs, Dan Inveen, Al Boddie, Doug McArthur, and Jim Wilhelmi conducted public hearings to view the proposals and made a final recommendation to the Tacoma City Council.
Groundbreaking took place on July 1, 1981, and over the course of 19.5 months, over 24M cubic feet of concrete, and almost 2,000 wood beams, were used in the construction of the 152’ tall Tacoma Dome. Community members were invited to sign the final 5,000 pound sections of the beam in April 1982, allowing thousands to leave their imprint on the Dome prior to the grand opening on April 21, 1983.
In August of 1983, David Bowie was the first artist to perform on the Dome stage, and since then, the world’s top talent, including Elton John, AC/DC, Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Dave Chappelle, The Rolling Stones, Garth Brooks, Kendrick Lamar, Pepe Aguilar, and Harry Styles, just to name a few, have put Tacoma on the map internationally, with attendance that tops Billboard’s charts.
A documentary of the Dome’s history to present day is in production with a local organization. Community members interested in telling their Tacoma Dome story should email firstname.lastname@example.org. The documentary will be screened at the Dome in August 2023.
The Dome remains a community hub and in the coming months will host 25+ graduations, annual consumer shows like the 41st annual Tacoma Holiday Food & Gift Festival, concerts by TWICE, P!nk, Morgan Wallen, Avenged Sevenfold, various community events, and more.
Proclamation: City of Tacoma Council Meeting – April 18 at 5pm; City Council Chambers
T-Town: April 28 or 29 at 10am; Tacoma Dome
About: The City of Tacoma enhances quality of life for the community and drives economic vitality through its premier venues and diverse entertainment opportunities. Tacoma Venues & Events manages these renowned venues including the Tacoma Dome, Greater Tacoma Convention Center, Cheney Stadium, the historic Pantages and Rialto Theaters, and Theater on the Square. The Dome is one of the world’s largest wooden-domed structures, with its well thought out design and 2018 renovations, including state-of-the-art telescopic seating, a curtaining system, and an aluminum super-grid, making just about any event possible with seating for up to 22,500.
– City of Tacoma