City looking to sell naming rights to the Tacoma Dome

TACOMA, Wash. -- The City of Tacoma is creating a bit of controversy as it looks for clever ways to pay for renovations to the Tacoma Dome.

The city is considering selling naming rights to the dome, but plenty of people in town don't think that's a great idea.

"I don't think I'd change the name. I mean, Tacoma's a great city and we were the first dome," said Donald Whiton.

Actually, the coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina opened in 1955 and Bojangles Restaurants later paid $1.25 million to name it. In Houston, Reliant Energy paid $300 million for its name to remain attached to the Astrodome for 32 years.

The Tacoma Dome is the largest indoor venue in the state and can hold 23,000 people. But the dome is a little worn around the edges.

"It's her 30th birthday this year, so she could use a few gifts -- some interior renovations and some amenities for the fans who have been so loyal over those years," said Kim Bedier with the City of Tacoma.

Those renovations would run about $180 million, so the city is now searching for a contractor to figure out who might want to buy the naming rights and how much they'd be willing to spend.

"We're asking them to tell us what the market is like. What do they think 200,000 impressions from the freeway is worth, 500,000 visitors a year?" Bedier said.

While many Tacoma residents think the dome should stay the way it is, others have their own ideas for new names. One person suggests calling it the Rainier Dome, and another thinks the Dog Dome would fit.

The city is open to all partnership ideas, from selling a certain food at concessions to parking new cars on the concourse.

The city's also looking to sell naming rights at its convention center and trade center.