Exit133 is about Tacoma
Andy Warhol Flower or Corporate Sponsorship for Tacoma Dome?
Once upon a time Andy Warhol submitted a design proposal to decorate the Tacoma Dome with a giant flower. Tacoma turned him down, and went with the neon you see now on the inside of the Dome. The idea of putting the Warhol flower on the Dome still appeals to quite a few Tacomans, particularly the arts community. Now the Warhol flower is going head-to-head with plans to maximize the revenue generated by the Dome.
A staff memo gives an overview of the conversation ahead of an informal briefing on the Tacoma Dome planned for next Tuesday's Economic Development Committee meeting.
The memo describes a "desire in the community" to see the Warhol plan happen. Apparently the arts community has expressed interest in fundraising to put the flower on the Dome, and the Tacoma Arts Commission has requested formal support from the City for the project.
Tacoma's Public Assemblies Facilities Department, on the other hand, has been tasked with lining up corporate sponsorship and/or naming rights to generate revenue for the City.
The two, apparently, are in conflict.
A study earlier this year looked at what the City might charge for naming rights to the Dome, and came up with a range of $450,000 to $670,000. The study also advised against the installation of roof art to preserve the "blank canvas" of the Dome while the City searches for a sponsor.
Aside from the potential conflict with a corporate sponsor, the project of getting the Warhol flower on the Dome faces a number of other obstacles. The City would need permission from the Warhol Foundation to use the image. Then there's the question of covering the cost of installation (estimated at $2.16 to $2.19 million) and maintenance ($150,000 a year for cleaning, plus other ongoing maintenance). And there's the issue of the technical details. To put the Warhol image on the Dome, it would be printed on an "adhesive film" and applied to the structure. What isn't known is what effect the adhesive would have on the structure, or how it would do in all seasons.
A kind of compromise is being proposed, in which both paths - the Warhol flower and the search for a corporate sponsor - would go ahead. A small test section of the materials would be applied to the Dome for a minimum of two seasons to see how it does in various weather conditions. That would cost $900, which could be covered out of Dome operating funds. Meanwhile, efforts to secure a corporate sponsor for the would also move forward. Once the test period is complete and staff has had the chance to determine corporate interest in sponsorship, the Council could revisit the idea.
We've also heard the idea floated of painting the Dome like a giant golf ball in honor of the US Open... What do you think? Flower? Golf ball? ... or [un-named corporate sponsor] logo?
Do you want to help the folks at Exit133 pay our bills and keep up with of all things Tacoma? Do you want to see even more coverage? Exit133 has always been free to read and comment, and it will stay that way. However, over the years, readers have contributed to the bank account to help us keep up our coverage of goings-on around town. Contribute and this message disappears!Support Exit133