Tacoma Venues & Events Department Renames Convention Center and Unveils Logo

Tacoma Venues & Events, the managing department for the City of Tacoma’s prolific venues, announced today the rebranding of the Greater Tacoma Convention Center (removing “& Trade”) and presenting a new brand identity. The fresh brand celebrates the Pacific Northwest, downtown Tacoma, and the culture of service offered at one of Washington State’s largest convention centers.

The brand image enhances marketing and sales efforts by defining what is appealing about the facility and region. The ‘greater than’ symbol seen within the new logo illustrates the service provided by the team of experts that collaborate with clients in all aspects of event planning from safety to audio visual, catering to ticketing. The symbol and tag line “Something Greater” evokes the transformative nature of events held at the facility.

“The launch of our new brand reflects the artful, modern style of the facility and connects us with our clients in our promise to provide ‘something greater’,” stated Kim Bedier, Director for Tacoma Venues & Events, City of Tacoma.  “Every event presented here holds a promise of something greater for the guest. Whether they are getting married, performing in a competition, supporting a non-profit, or networking at a conference, we hope that everyone comes away with something greater after a visit to the Convention Center.”

Hemisphere Design & Marketing of Tacoma was engaged to develop a memorable and distinct brand. Through their research interviews with stakeholders and focus groups, the Convention Center’s brand was identified for the greater value it provides, the overall experience customers expect, and the personality of the venue and the region.  Download the new logo here.

“The Public Facilities District (PFD) was formed to construct the Greater Tacoma Convention Center to act as an economic engine for the entire region. With PFD participants that include Fife, Lakewood, University Place and Pierce County, I am pleased to see the focus on the greater Tacoma area conveyed throughout the facility’s strategic communications,” stated Connie Ladenburg, President for the PFD and Pierce County Council Member.

Construction began in April to prepare the building site for a new 4-star hotel. In coordination with the brand change, the venue’s official address has also been changed to 1500 Commerce Street. Aramark’s Executive Chef Brooks Magnuson will also be releasing a new menu this month.

“Tacoma is earning a reputation as a convention destination nationally. Our team is looking forward to using these tools for continued growth in the number, diversity and the scope of the events we book,” said Bennish Brown, President and CEO for Travel Tacoma + Pierce County, the area’s destination marketing organization.

The Greater Tacoma Convention Center was recently recognized by meetingsource.com as #4 for top small convention cities. The facility hosts more than 125,000 attendees at 200 events annually, with events ranging from multi-day conventions, to cheer and dance events, elegant weddings, non-profit-galas and military balls.  

About Tacoma Venues & Events (formerly Public Assembly Facilities):  The City of Tacoma enhances quality of life for the community and drives economic vitality through its premier venues and diverse entertainment opportunities.  Tacoma Venues & Events manages these renowned venues which include the Tacoma Dome, one of the world’s largest wood domed structures with flexible seating configurations ranging from 5,000-23,000; the Greater Tacoma Convention Center, artful and modern with its trademark glass walls and 119,000 square feet of event space; Cheney Stadium, home of the Tacoma Rainiers; and the Broadway Center’s historic Pantages and Rialto Theaters, and Theatre on the Square.  The department collaborates with Travel Tacoma and Tacoma South Sound Sports to generate events for the region.


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Mobilitie, the nation’s largest privately-held wireless infrastructure provider, announced the installation of both a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) and Wi-Fi network, providing ubiquitous wireless coverage throughout the venues for guests. 
“Wireless connectivity enhances our guests’ experiences, enabling them to stay connected and share exciting moments with friends and family in real-time,” said Kim Bedier, Director Public Assembly Facilities, City of Tacoma.  “Mobilitie brought us the right solutions for coverage and capacity, and we are thrilled that our exhibitors, attendees and partners will benefit from the boosted capacity.”
Both the Tacoma Dome, with its large wood-domed structure, and the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center, known for its trademark glass walls, now have a contiguous DAS and Wi-Fi network that are linked together.  More than 130 antennas and 190 Wi-Fi Access Points were used to build the wireless infrastructure.
“We are excited about our partnership with Tacoma Dome and Convention Center. Iconic venues like these require robust wireless coverage and capacity to keep guests connected to their business community, as well as with friends and family,” said Christos Karmis, President of Mobilitie. “With U.S. mobile data usage expected to increase by more than 600 percent over the next two years, we wanted to ensure that our intelligent infrastructure will support guests’ wireless needs today and in the future. Mobilitie’s DAS and Wi-Fi networks will ensure guests have uninterrupted access to voice and data services.”
Mobilitie’s growth has been largely fueled by its intelligent approach to telecommunications infrastructure in the U.S. Mobilitie’s partners include all major wireless carriers, as well as sports and entertainment arenas such as, Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs, the Honda Center, home of the Anaheim Ducks, Verizon Center, home of the Washington Wizards, Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, and Toyota Park, home of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club. In addition, Mobilitie’s DAS network at Churchill Downs supported the highest-ever recorded data traffic usage during a one-hour period at the 2016 Kentucky Derby. 

At the developer’s expense, work to construct a ramp from Commerce Street into the parking garage under the Greater Tacoma Convention Center – as well as additional dock space adjacent to the existing ones on Market Street – has begun. 

Sidewalks in the vicinity of the new Convention Center A garage entrance on Commerce Street have closed to enable ramp construction, and a fence will be placed to secure the development site on April 20 blocking access to the surface lots and the Carlton parking structure at South 17th and Commerce streets. Heavy construction equipment will be stationed at the development site during that time in preparation for construction of the building. 

Construction work hours will be Monday through Friday, from 7 AM to 5 PM, and high noise activities as well as construction truck traffic will be managed by Absher Construction to minimize impact to the surrounding neighborhood to the greatest extent possible. Construction workers will also be directed to park at off-site locations to minimize impacts on parking for the University of Washington Tacoma and area businesses.  

From April 20, for the duration of construction through the summer of 2019 when the new hotel is projected to open, access from the south of the Convention Center as well as the exterior parking lots A, B and C will be closed. Convention Center guests would enter the facility through the first floor doors at Commerce Street and the third floor doors on 15th street, and guest parking will be available in the A garage, within the Convention Center building. The A garage would be accessible via the newly constructed ramp at Commerce Street. Additional guest parking will be available throughout the construction period at the D and E garages off Court C. There are also several privately owned and managed facilities in the area that may have additional parking capacity available for visitors. As parking availability will be limited depending on event timing, type and size, guests are encouraged to plan for, and allow themselves, more time to park.

The Convention Center will continue to host events during construction.

About the Greater Tacoma Convention Center Hotel Project

The first phase of construction is expected to realize a minimum 4-star hotel with at least 300 rooms, in-hotel retail and approximately 10,000 square feet of street level retail, 10,000 net square feet of grand ballroom space, and 9,000 net square feet of other function rooms within the hotel, while providing the Greater Tacoma Convention Center first right of use at market rate, not less than 200 private parking stalls and a plaza/grand entryway. 

A second phase is also being contemplated by the developer, which would include a minimum of 200 condominiums and/or market rate apartments, at least 20,000 square feet of street level retail and not less than 200 private parking stalls. The developer may also construct commercial office space as part of the mixed use development. 

More information about the project is available through Elly Walkowiak in Community and Economic Development at 253.591.5209. 


As one of the Northwest's largest cities, Tacoma is thriving with business and industry. We're big enough to have a central role in the Northwest architecture, but still small enough to provide attentive, personable service for meetings of all sizes. From a ten-person meeting to a city-wide event, you can be sure you will receive a warm and gracious welcome from our community. Stunning mountain and water views surround the city of Tacoma. Nestled between Seattle and Olympia (Washington's state capital), Tacoma's central location is ideal for any event.

Tacoma offers a full range of restaurants - from fine to casual dining, as well as nightlife options. Many world-class museums are located in the core of downtown Tacoma: Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum, Washington State History Museum and LeMay – America's Car Museum. For entertainment, a vibrant theater district provides many options and the Tacoma Dome Arena and Exhibition Hall is just a light rail ride away. For those ready to shop, boutique-style shops line the downtown core and Tacoma's "Antique Row" is a fun way to explore. If you are traveling with children, be sure to visit the Children's Museum of Tacoma featuring hands on exhibits and an art studio for children of all ages. For those who want to spend the day outdoors, discover the local parks, stroll along the waterfront promenade and stop by the Foss Waterway Seaport or visit Mt. Rainier National Park. During spring and summer months, take in a game at Tacoma's Cheney Stadium, home of the Tacoma Rainiers AAA baseball team.

Visit Travel Tacoma’s website for more information on Destination Tacoma and contact the Convention Center This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more about why you should plan your next event in Tacoma.

You’ll Like Tacoma!