SEATTLE (CelebrityAccess) As Seattle’s KeyArena shutters for a two-year, $700 million makeover, the city’s Tacoma Dome is reopening with its own $30 million face lift.
The arena, born in 1983, is about to kick off next month with Drake and is expected to host the bulk of the city’s mass gatherings indoors.
“I look pretty smart, right?” Kim Bedier, director of Tacoma Venues & Events, which manages the city-owned facility, joked to the Seattle Times. “Intentional? No. But we’ll take it.”
The new version of the 22,500-capacity Tacoma Dome includes wider seats (“As prices rise for everything, particularly concert tickets, I wouldn’t sleep at night knowing that somebody was paying over $100 to sit on a wooden bench,” Bedier said), overhauled concession stands and four-times more bathrooms. The concession stands use reclaimed lumber matching the dome’s wooden motif and outfitted with new electronic menu boards, Bedier told the Times.
There is also sound and lighting upgrades (not related to concerts, according to the paper) and soon the venue will have new exterior paneling. There are also security enhancements after representatives from the Department of Homeland Security and other experts finish a report of recommendations.
Other concerts on the books include Twenty One Pilots, Fleetwood Mac and two from Justin Timberlake, all of which were scheduled before KeyArena’s closure was known, according to Tacoma Dome booking director Tom Alexander.
“We’re perceiving it as maybe a windfall for the next two years,” Alexander told the paper. “We’re going to take full advantage of it and hopefully change some opinions on people that have never been here before.”
Live Nation Northwest chief Jeff Trisler agreed that the Tacoma Dome will likely see a spike in concerts for the near future but noted that the Seattle Center, which is expected to open in fall 2020 with a complete, $140 million makeover, will narrow the cap with its 15,000 to 19,000 capacity for concerts.