Story No. 3 in a series
Just as you winterize your home, Northwest landmarks get prepped for winter, too.
That includes the Tacoma Dome, which is the largest arena with a wooden roof in the world.
The Tacoma Dome opened in 1983 and features Douglas fir glulams – wood frames that are laminated and glued together – that support its 152-foot-high, 530-foot-diameter roof.
A roof that big sheds lots of water when it rains, so it's no surprise that the Dome drains get inspected every three months, according to Angela Tamajka, Tacoma Dome marketing manager.
And in case you wondered, the Dome's roof is not merely plywood. It's coated with EPDM, a rubber membrane that protects the wood by resisting rain, wind, sunlight, freezing, and abrasion.
Tamajka listed other winterization chores done by Matt Balk and the Tacoma Dome's operations team. Some of those chores might sound familiar to homeowners:
Blow out all irrigation. The Dome parking lot islands and borders have more than 80 sprinkler heads.
Inspect and repair any wrap on external pipes.
Inspect salt spreaders for walk-up ramps, verify salt inventory.
There also are many tires to check. Tires? Yes. The Dome seats up to 23,000 people, and 65% of that seating is moveable, making many configurations possible – from concerts to football games to consumer shows. Perhaps you've driven past the Dome and seen portable sections of seating parked outside, in the north parking lot? Those sections rest on wheels, and each fall Balk's team adjusts the tire pressure in each one.
When the Tacoma Dome was built 31 years ago, many saw it as a mini-Kingdome. When the Kingdome was imploded in March 2000, the Tacoma Dome became the largest indoor venue in the Northwest.