Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Features and More

Elton John to perform in Tampa at newly renovated USF Sun Dome on Sept. 14

TAMPA — As if the Tampa Bay concert landscape weren't competitive enough, the newly renovated USF Sun Dome made a major statement Thursday, announcing Elton John as its "grand opening" act on Sept. 14.

After undergoing $35.6 million in considerable refurbishment — nicer seats, a center-hung scoreboard, a Team Bulls store and first-of-its-kind student club — the 10,000-plus-seat indoor venue will be "a lot more" aggressive in its pursuit of big name entertainment acts, said director of marketing Sara Webster.

That's great news for music fans. The Sun Dome's unique capacity (10,411 for basketball games, 11,000 for concerts) should help draw acts away from Orlando, Tampa Bay's biggest competitor in the state. It will also intensify the dogfight between local concert venues, including the Tampa Bay Times Forum, 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre and, to some degree, Ruth Eckerd Hall, the Mahaffey Theater and the Straz Center.

The original Sun Dome cost $12 million to build and first opened its doors in 1980. (First concert? Alice Cooper!) But time had been tough on the old joint, which previously looked, at its very best, like a really nice high school gym (complete with all the odors that go with).

But this is a brand new, and rather lovely, Sun Dome. The Fresh Music Festival, featuring Keith Sweat and Doug E. Fresh, will be the first official gig at the "new" place (on July 7). Other acts previously announced include Florence + the Machine (Sept. 25) the King's Men (Oct. 2) and country star Eric Church.

But Elton is the big show-off booking for Global Spectrum, the venue management company in charge. The Rocket Man had played the Sun Dome on four other dates: Nov. 17-18, 1984; Sept. 21, 1986; Sept. 11, 1988. The 65-year-old icon last played Tampa in 2009, at the Times Forum.

Tickets for Elton John go on sale June 15. Prices range $39.50-$139.50 and will be available through Ticketmaster.com or at the Sun Dome's box office, toll-free 1-800-745-3000.

Sean Daly can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Jobsite’s ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ should be more gripping than it is

Jobsite’s ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ should be more gripping than it is

TAMPA — The virtues of Dancing at Lughnasa, with which Jobsite Theater closes its season, are many. This drama by the celebrated Brian Friel opened in 1990 to much acclaim. It captures a family’s joys and sadnesses, and the quickness with which one s...
Updated: 1 hour ago
A perfect pick for dessert

A perfect pick for dessert

America’s Test KitchenIt might seem impossible to improve on a perfect peach, but we decided to try. We wanted a simple, warm dessert that amplified the peaches’ flavor. To achieve tender, flavorful peaches with a lightly sweet glaze, we began by tos...
Published: 06/19/18
Restaurant review: Chile Verde is serving up very solid tacos in an unlikely spot

Restaurant review: Chile Verde is serving up very solid tacos in an unlikely spot

ST. PETERSBURGThere are a lot of decommissioned gas stations across the country. Some have been reinvented, cleverly made over as upscale restaurants. There’s Big Star in Chicago, Elaia & Olio in St. Louis, Red Truck Bakery in Warrenton, Va., even Bi...
Published: 06/18/18
Taste test: Chocolate chip cookies

Taste test: Chocolate chip cookies

When we started seeing ads for Nestle Toll House cookies already baked and prepackaged, I knew it was time for our tasters to get involved. They are cookie lovers, and one even has his own cookiemaking business. We found the Nestle brand and had hope...
Published: 06/18/18
Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — In his vision for this weekend, Connor Coyle is standing in the ring at the Coliseum, and the referee is raising his gloved fist.He’s got a National Boxing Association middleweight championship belt around his waist, the first of sev...
Published: 06/15/18
With over 40 years between the birth of my two daughters, I am two different fathers

With over 40 years between the birth of my two daughters, I am two different fathers

Still shaken by Bobby Kennedy’s assassination six days earlier, I sat in the hospital waiting room mindlessly thumbing through a May 1968 Rolling Stone while my wife, Fran, gave birth to our daughter Elle. As was customary, when everyone had been fre...
Published: 06/15/18
Puerto Vallarta is a dreamy Mexican getaway within reach

Puerto Vallarta is a dreamy Mexican getaway within reach

LOREN ELLIOTT • Times CorrespondentPUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICOThe third-floor balcony attached to our rented apartment served as a peaceful refuge above Puerto Vallarta’s bustling central district streets. Below us, taxis honked, people crowded bus ...
Published: 06/15/18
How Tampa's Cole and Marmalade got famous, beat cancer and helped save more cats

How Tampa's Cole and Marmalade got famous, beat cancer and helped save more cats

Here's how to make your cat famous on the internet, according to the owners of some famous felines.
Published: 06/15/18
Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

Irish boxer brings his dream to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — In his vision for this weekend, Connor Coyle is standing in the ring at the Coliseum, and the referee is raising his gloved fist.He’s got a National Boxing Association middleweight championship belt around his waist, the first of sev...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/16/18
High-tech nighttime lagoon show coming to Universal Orlando this summer

High-tech nighttime lagoon show coming to Universal Orlando this summer

A gliding, wraith-like figure of a Dementor from the Harry Potter films enters Central Park, and the exteriors of the surrounding buildings immediately are covered in a layer of ice, a sign of their power to drain happiness out of the air around them...
Published: 06/14/18