TACOMA (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — According to KOMO News Tacoma residents are about to be asked to save one of the city's icons, but some say the Tacoma Dome is outdated, and needs to go.
While some may call the landmark an "eyesore," one of Tacoma's former mayors gives the structure credit for helping to turn around the downtown area back in the 1980s.
"It's like the anchor tenant of the whole 'Renaissance' of the city of Tacoma," says Harold Moss, chairperson of the "Save Our Dome" campaign, which will ask voters to rollover the dome's bonds to finance a major refurbishment.
"Doing nothing is a guaranteed continued loss," Moss adds. "After the mortgage is paid, you can lay down and let the house go to pot, or you can continue to make those payments and bring this into the best experience people can have."
Opponents claim the dome is outdated, and since it's losing money, it should be closed. In their voter pamphlet statement, the group "Citizens For Fiscal Responsibility" says those charged with operating the Tacoma Dome the past several years should have kept it up to date. The group raises the question "Why do we think we can compete with Key Arena and the Amphitheater in Auburn?"
"You know, it's great to have the amphitheater outdoors right on up until about October, and then you can't use them much until June," Moss responds.
Moss and his group will ask voters Sept. 20 to roll over the bonds used to finance construction of the dome, raising up to $45 million for renovations. He adds that if voters reject Proposition 1, the dome is already dipping into reserves, and it's just a matter of time before it won't make sense to keep it open.
"Can you imagine the dome boarded up?" he asks.
Even though the bond wouldn't require any new taxes, opponents advise voters to "cut their losses."
Is the dome still a good financial fit for the region? According to admission records, it still brings over a million people a year to the area.
"It contributes roughly $42 million in economic impact to Tacoma and Pierce County," says Rob McNair-Huff, spokesperson for the city of Tacoma