Downtown stadium organizers breathe a sigh of relief after project gets approved

SPOKANE, Wash. — On Wednesday night, the Spokane Public Schools Board voted 4-1 to build a new stadium in downtown Spokane.

It took three years to get to this point, but this stadium will now replace the aging Joe Albi site. The $31 million stadium project will pave the way for SPS to have a centralized facility for athletics, graduations and concerts. In addition, professional soccer will also be headed to the city in the near future.

There was a sense of relief for all parties involved in this stadium decision — from SPS to the Downtown Spokane Partnership.

CEO Mark Richard said he felt pretty good going into Wednesday night, but didn’t know which way the vote would go.

“In many ways I never really got comfortable that they were comfortable, I think they were doing their job,” said Richard. “They continued to keep us on our toes and make more demands on behalf of their kids and their families and the district and their tax payers.”

SPS says they will save at least $22.5 million putting the stadium in downtown. In addition, the school district will move their architect group, ASLC Architects, from the Joe Albi project to this new one.

The United Soccer league is also excited with the prospect of yet another expansion team in their league, adding to the more than 43 teams across the country. The league has been in talks with potential ownership groups have been going on for the past few months. Groundbreaking for the stadium is expected to be sometime in early 2022 and will open up in time for the USL’s 2023 season which begins in March.

PAST COVERAGE: Spokane Public Schools Board approves downtown stadium proposal