The Podium welcomes athletes, coaches and fans to its first event

SPOKANE, Wash.– Athletes, coaches and parents filled The Podium in Spokane for the very first time on Saturday.

The  135,000 square-foot sports complex held the Spokane Invitational on Dec. 11. It was the first event to be held there on a 75,000 square-foot competition space.

Anthony Carlascio is able to say he’s the first person ever to win in a running event at The Podium. He goes to the Spokane Falls Community College and has the state-of-the-art sports complex in his backyard.

“It’s an honor. I mean, it’s such a cool facility. I think it brings a lot to Spokane and shows us what we’re about,” he said.

His coach, Sean McLachlan, said Carlascio will remember winning at The Podium for a long time.

He said having this new venue is a big deal for Spokane.

“I think the community of Spokane’s been waiting for something like this for a really long time. To finally be here in the building with a lot of people, the energy is enormous and it’s a ton of fun,” McLachlan said.

The Podium has a 200-meter hydraulic track that allows runners to turn with less effort. That means they can go faster. It also has four practice areas for them to warm up at.

Spokane Sports CEO Eric Sawyer said it cost about $54 million to build The Podium. He says the money comes from state sales tax rebate, some money from the Public Facilities District and the City of Spokane.

Sawyer said the amount of money it will bring in will be a pay-off, estimating between $30 and $35 million to come into the community each year because of the building.

Spokane Sports said it’s estimating $17 million will be brought into the community over the next few months from the 10 events planned at The Podium.

“It feels good to just be having events again and have people from out of town experiencing what Spokane has to offer, both in this facility and our community,” Sawyer said. “It’s been a long journey and we’ve arrived in many ways.”

The USA Championship for indoor track and field will also be held at the Podium in February 2022.

It took a little more than two years for The Podium to be built.

You can see what other events will take place at The Podium here.

MORE: PHOTOS: Take a look at The Podium’s first-ever sporting event

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