The Tacoma Dome is iconic—an unmistakable landmark of the gritty city and visible from all over downtown. Driving southbound on I-5, it's the Tacoma Dome that greets you as you enter town. You can't miss it. It's right there near the freeway. The Dome is more than a simple landmark, though. It plays host to many events from headliner concerts to local graduations, and is attached to Tacoma Dome Station—the main transportation hub in town.
Where is it?
The Tacoma Dome's address is 2727 East D Street, Tacoma, WA 98421.
What kinds of events happen at the Tacoma Dome?
Events at the Dome range from local high school graduations to world-class performances, as this is one of the largest venues in the South Sound region. Performers from Britney Spears to Kenny Chesney to Motley Crue have played here.
Sporting events are also common as the stadium can be configured into a number of seating arrangements. WWE, Motocross, Monster Truck, and WIAA football championship games take place at different times through the year.
There are also a number of festivals held either at the dome or its adjacent events center throughout the year. Some of the largest of these are the annual Holiday Food and Gift Festival and Tacoma Home Show, but watch for the Tacoma Guitar Festival, ethnic food festivals and more.
Tacoma Dome Station
While not directly part of the Dome, Tacoma Dome Station is located next to the facility and is the main transportation hub in Pierce County. Seriously, it's one of the most useful pieces of infrastructure in the city simply for the giant, free parking garage. If you're doing something downtown and don't want to pay for parking or want to stay longer than a couple of hours, park at the Tacoma Dome Station for free and ride the (also free!) Link light rail into the downtown core. Likewise, if you don't want to drive in Seattle traffic, park in this garage and catch one of the Sound Transit Seattle express buses.
Pierce Transit has several transit centers throughout the area, including one located here, but what makes this one more important is that it also links travelers to a Greyhound station, Amtrak, the Sounder commuter train, Link light rail, and several Express buses to Seattle, Olympia and Seatac airport.
Interesting Facts about the Tacoma Dome's History
The Tacoma Dome is primarily built of wood, making it unique in that it is one of the largest wooden-domed structures in the world. The dome itself is 530 feet across and 152 feet high.
Many notable acts have passed through this venue since it was opened to the public in April 1983. David Bowie put on the first concert here a few months after it opened. While the Tacoma Dome is not a permanent home to any sports teams as of 2011, it has been home to six teams since it opened. These include: Tacoma Stars (soccer), Tacoma Express (football), Tacoma Rockets (hockey), Seattle Sounders (soccer), Seattle Sonics (basketball), and the Tacoma Sabercats (hockey).
Another unique aspect of this venue is that 65 percent of its seating can be moved, which is why it can host such a variety of events from small-scale up to concerts. There are a number of seating arrangements for the different types of events here.
Parking and Directions
Tacoma Dome is easy to spot from the freeway and therefore not hard to get to once you exit I-5.
From southbound I-5, take Exit 135 to Portland Avenue. Cross Portland onto E 27th, which becomes Wiley Avenue. Directions will be posted to guide you to the parking lots.
From northbound I-5, take Exit 134 to Portland Avenue. Turn left onto Portland and left after that onto E 27th. E 27th turns into Wiley Avenue. Directions will be posted to guide you to the parking lots.
There are several parking options at the Tacoma Dome, including a large and usually free parking garage that's just a few blocks away. You will need to walk the blocks from the garage.
If you don't want to walk a few blocks, there are several lots in closer proximity to the Dome that cost between $10 and $25. Lots E and K are specially reserved for those with disabilities. Lot I is for recreational vehicles. You can also sometimes find parking on the street or in nearby city lots.
Since Tacoma Dome Station links this facility to many nearby areas, you can also park farther away and ride the bus in to save a few dollars. Lots are also located around downtown Tacoma and riding the Link light rail from anywhere in downtown is free.