Commission studying feasibility of new sports venue

Commission studying feasibility of new sports venue

Hoops reign supreme in Spokane, with the State B tournament this weekend, Hoopfest, and the Zags. A newly proposed facility could give other sports a better venue.

The Spokane Sports Commission said it wants to build a $20 million facility to bring more money in. The proposed facility could be located in downtown Spokane north of the river, or in Spokane Valley near the YMCA.

“We have really been studying the need for some sort of indoor multi-use sports complex,” Commission President Eric Sawyer said.

Sawyer said the 127,000 square foot facility could host volleyball tournaments, indoor NCAA track competitions, and on the other side ice hockey games.

Sports commission

“We’ve identified over 100 events, national tournaments, that we could bring to our community that we can’t currently host, because of the lack of this type of a venue,” Sawyer said.

Sawyer also points to the Pacific Northwest Qualifier Volleyball tournament, as the city’s most lucrative annual sports event. It pulls in about 500 volleyball teams from around the country.

Visit Spokane said those types of tournaments boost visitor spending. Overall visitor spending in 2012, was $770 million for Spokane County.

“The sports traveler is a market that’s growing. Youth sports is particularly profitable because the kids bring their parents and grandparents and a bigger group with them,” Visit Spokane President/CEO Cheryl Kilday said.

A feasibility study will be done by the end of March to see if it makes sense financially. At that point, the commission will know whether or not the project will move forward.