Vision for a downtown Spokane sports stadium is still alive

SPOKANE, Wash. — It’s a subject many Spokane residents are familiar with at this point. A downtown stadium project has been unveiled once again.  This time organizers are confident they can get this done. The Downtown Spokane Partnership and the United Soccer League are backing their proposal.

The stadium would be built in the parking lot along Boone Avenue, just east of the Spokane Arena. In the best case scenario, it would be built sometime in 2022, but the biggest factor moving forward from a funding standpoint is Spokane Public Schools.  Downtown Spokane Partnership President Mark Richard said in a press conference Tuesday morning that this time around is different for proposing a stadium.

“Everything in the world, frankly, has changed since that vote,” said Richard.

In 2018, a location advisory vote found that more than 64% of voters preferred the current site of the stadium. However, there has been a continual push to bring high school and professional sports to the downtown area.

“Albi has been suffering with attendance because of it’s location, the distance to travel, the quality of venue. The ability for us to bring that Friday night experience back downtown….is going to influence,” said Eric Sawyer the CEO of Spokane Sports.

The Downtown Partnership wants the school district to take the $31 million bond that was already passed, to build the stadium in downtown instead of the current location.  They are also asking the public facilities district to contribute a $1.5 as their sole contribution to the facility.  The USL would also commit $2 million.

“For the same money we can create real jobs, real economic development and we can save the school district about $17.5 million that they can put back into their families and their students,” said Richard.

The 5,000 seat stadium would have include a free parking lot adjacent from the lot.  DSP says they learned during the past two years, acccess is a driving factor for many families.

“This site now is literally walkable for hundreds of families that are inside Spokane Public Schools boundary…We have North Central…We got Rodgers. About a mile to the south we got LC,” added Richard.

4 News Now reached out to Spokane Public Schools to see how they are responding to this proposal, but have not heard back at this time.

READ: A new stadium may be coming to downtown Spokane