Structure Type: built works - recreation areas and structures - arenas

Designers: Loofburrow Architects (firm); Moen Company, Gilbert H., Company, Building Contractors (firm); Skilling, Worthington, Helle and Christiansen, Incorporated, Engineers (firm); John Valdemar Christiansen (structural engineer); Richard Loofburrow (architect); Jon Magnusson (structural engineer); Donald Moen (building contractor); Gilbert H. Moen (building contractor); John Bower Skilling (structural engineer); William D. Ward (structural engineer); Harold L. Worthington (structural engineer)

Dates: constructed 1989-1990

1301 South Fair Avenue
Yakima, WA 98901

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Interest within Yakima County began in 1985 to fund a new. multipurpose facility at the Yakima County Fairgrounds to support a broad array of exhibitions. A previous attempt to fund such a venue failed in 1980; by 1987, however, support within the State Legislature, Yakima County, the Cities of Yakima and Union Gap congealed to finance what was then called the "Agplex." The State promised $6 million in funds if Yakima County and Cities of Yakima and Union Gap would match it, which they did. Designed by local architect Richard Loofburrow, the Yakima Valley SunDome, constructed in 1989-1990, has hosted a variety of events, state basketball and volleyball tournaments, boxing matches, motorcycle races, mixed-martial arts matches, house and garden exhibitions, monster truck rallies, arena football games, and concerts. The professional sports teams, Yakima Valley Warriors (American Indoor Football Association), Yakima Sun Kings (Continental Basketball Association), Yakima Shockwave (National Indoor Football League) have utilized the venue as their homes. In 2011, the SunDome seated 5,602 for baseball games, 4,850 for rodeo events, 7,782 for wrestling matches, 5,686 for arena football games, 6,698 for boxing matches and a range from 3,831-7,926 for concerts. The noted structural engineer, Jack Christensen (b. 1927), working as an independent consultant, designed the building's thin-shell, reinforced concrete roof, similar to the design he devised for the Seattle Kingdome (1976), Christensen had experimented with thin-shell roof structures since his first in 1954, the Evans Pool at Seattle's Green Lake Park, and became one of the world's leading experts on this construction technology. Thornton and Sons Electric, Spokane, WA served as electrical contractor. Wagner Roofing of Yakima applied the waterproof coating that sheathed the dome's exterior.

The Associated General Contractors of Washington web site noted of the Yakima SunDome and the experience of building contractor, Don Moen: "As modest as Don is about building the engineering marvel with its 10 miles of electrical conduit, 900,000 pounds of reinforcing bar, 1,600 cubic yards of concrete and 6.6-million-pound domed roof, the SunDome is only one of many signature products G.H. Moen Co. has constructed throughout the state." (See Associate General Contractors of Washington, "AGC News: Don Moen Looks Back as his SunDome Project Celebrates its 20th Anniversary,"Accessed 08/15/2011.)

The SunDome had its locker rooms and meeting rooms renovated in 2002, and new seating was added.

PCAD id: 16784