School board rejects downtown option, new stadium will be located at current Joe Albi site
SPOKANE, Wash. — Joe Albi Stadium may be on its way out, but Spokane Public Schools athletics will still be played in northwest Spokane.
Joe Albi has stood just off Wellesley Avenue for the past 70 years. With its age showing, the stadium will be soon be torn down. When considering where to put its replacement, Spokane’s City Council decided to let the public help decide with an advisory vote on the November ballot.
Voters strongly favored building the new stadium at the current Albi site. Only about 36% of city residents who voted were up for a new downtown stadium. The results are below.
The vote was not binding, though, which means the school board theoretically still could have gone either way. But in a 4-1 vote Wednesday night, the board joined voters in opting for the current site.
The new stadium will be designed a little different than the aging Albi. Instead of the current 28,000 fan capacity, the new stadium will hold 5,000. School officials say the stadium only sees about 1,000 fans on the average weekend.
The district hopes this move forward will serve the Spokane community for generations to come.
“This is a decision about what’s best for the next 60 years of Spokane’s history, and how best to capitalize on that facility, so we’re not rebuilding facilities all the time,” district spokesperson Brian Coddington told KXLY4 in October.
The stadium rebuild will cost $31 million dollars, partially using money passed by voters in the school district and city partnership bond in November.
The design process will begin in 2019, with construction starting the year after that. The goal is to have the stadium completely done in 2021.
The multipurpose stadium will be used for soccer, lacrosse, football, band competitions, and graduation ceremonies. Event parking will still be free.
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