The Tacoma Dome (constructed by Tacoma Dome Associates, led by McGranahan Messenger Architects, a design build entity) is an indoor arena located in Tacoma, Washington, USA, approximately 30 miles south of Seattle.
Upon winning an international design competition, local architects McGranahan and Messenger completed the Tacoma Dome in 1983 for $44 million which opened on April 21, the arena seats 17,100 for basketball. It is the World's largest arena with a wooden dome in terms of total volume and seating capacity (23,000), with a diameter of 530 feet (160 m) and a height of 152 feet (46 m). The Superior Dome in Marquette, MI is a larger diameter geodesic dome at 536 feet (163 m), but is only 143 feet (44 m) high and only seats a maximum of 16,000. Unlike most other arenas of its size, the arena contains little in the way of fixed seating so as to maximize the flexibility of the seating arrangements and of the shape of the playing field. It can even host American football, albeit with seating reduced to only 10,000.
The first concert in the Tacoma Dome was David Bowie, with The Tubes as his opening act. Michael Jackson planned to give three concerts on October 31 and November 1 and 2, 1988 during his Bad Tour. Although all the planned shows sold out, the concerts were later cancelled because of the performer`s health problems. These concerts were never rescheduled. Also in the Dome's first year, Billy Graham hosted one of his crusades. He returned to the Tacoma Dome in 1991. In both crusades Graham averaged 30,000 spectators every night.
The Tacoma Dome is also known for its controversial neon art. In 1984 the Stephen Antonakos piece displayed inside the dome was the subject of intense debate over public funding of artworks for public works projects.