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TACOMA, WA-Voters in Tacoma will vote this fall on a $45 million renovation of the Tacoma Dome, its longtime sports and entertainment facility. The city council this week approved an ordinance placing the plan on the Sept. 20 ballot. Called Proposition 1, it will need a 60% majority to move forward.The Tacoma Dome is more than 20 years old and has never been significantly renovated. A city source tells GlobeSt.com the Tacoma Dome is currently a breakeven proposition for the city, but stands to be a drain if improvements are not made. “What they are hoping is that the upgrades will make Tacoma more attractive to musical acts and other entertainment providers that have been by passing the venue because it has become dated,” says the source.The renovations would include seating and sightline improvements, new concession areas, new dressing rooms, concourse expansion, additional new restrooms, power and lighting upgrades, a new sound system, exhibition hall upgrades, public entry enhancements and a new exterior marquee.City officials describe the proposition as tax neutral because it would simply extend the 21.8 cents per $1,000 property tax assessment that has been in place for the past 25 years. In addition to covering its ongoing maintenance, the tax paid for the original $27.5-million construction cost of the 22-year-old structure.Since its opening, the Tacoma Dome had hosted some 400 major events. It attracts over 1 million patrons each year, generates a positive economic impact for the city and Pierce County. “In order to continue the successful operation of the Tacoma Dome, the City urgently needs to renovate and improve the Tacoma Dome,” states the ordinance passed by the council. If the improvements are not made, “the facility will not be competitive in the entertainment market and is projected to operate at an increasing deficit, which may necessitate financial support for the facility from scarce general fund resources.”

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