Partnership with United Soccer League presents visionary opportunity for sporting and special events in Spokane
An exciting new partnership opportunity has leaders in Spokane revisiting the possibility of a stadium in downtown Spokane.
Downtown Spokane Partnership (DSP) and the United Soccer League (USL) are announcing a new proposal for a 5,000-seat stadium that would be home to Spokane Public Schools (SPS) football and soccer games and bring a new professional soccer team to Spokane.
This partnership proposal would save SPS millions of dollars. For the same construction investment SPS would make in renovations at Joe Albi stadium, the district would save $17.5 million in operations and maintenance expenses by entering into a formal partnership agreement for a downtown stadium, with the Public Facilities District (PFD) operating the venue, if approved.
“This is a smart investment. It not only provides the district with cost savings, it makes a greater economic impact, leverages tax-payer dollars, supports local business and creates jobs,” says Mark Richard, President of the Downtown Spokane Partnership.
This stadium would generate significant economic impact for businesses in the region. A recent economic impact study found that a downtown stadium would generate $11.4 million in annual economic impact for Spokane, versus Joe Albi’s estimated $1.3 million economic impact.
“This kind of economic opportunity means even more now than it did a few years ago as Spokane works to recover from the economic recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Richard. “Our community and our local businesses would benefit greatly from this opportunity.”
The USL, a new partner in this proposal, would financially contribute, something that wasn’t considered when the stadium went to the community for an advisory vote in 2018. The USL team will provide a contribution to the capital investment needed for the construction of a downtown stadium.
“Spokane has a rich tradition of sports, great fans and athletic talent,” said Justin Papadakis, USL COO and Chief Real Estate Officer. “We have been working to make the dream of having a professional soccer team a reality for the past few years and this partnership proposal is one we think the community will strongly support.”
In addition to being the home stadium for a new professional soccer team, the downtown stadium would be available to host concerts, large-scale special events and other sporting events, creating significant economic impact by drawing tourism, supporting our local businesses, and creating jobs. Maximizing the use of this public asset and attracting a professional soccer team only occur in a central urban location.
This partnership proposal guarantees SPS could use the stadium for all high school football and soccer games as well as any other school district events at no cost – with free parking for all school events. Additionally, the central location will be a more equitable solution for students and families by creating greater access for all five high schools, with many public transportation options and even being within walking distance for some.
“We’re excited for what this new proposal would mean for our community – it’s a win-win-win for students and families, residents, local business, the PFD and sports fans,” says Richard.
DSP plans to submit their proposal to the Public Facilities District board and Spokane Public Schools board for their review in the coming weeks.
In order make the above happen, the PFD Board and the Board of SPS need to hear from you. Show your support by sending a statement or letter outlining why you think a centralized downtown stadium would benefit students, families, and the entire Spokane community.
Address correspondence to:
- Spokane Public Schools, School Board: SchoolBoard@spokaneschools.org
Three other ways you can help:
- Get the word out about the positive economic impact a downtown stadium would have on our region.
- Learn about the differences between the new proposal and the previous proposal, including the commitment of free parking for students and families attending Football games or other district activities.
- Get excited. By locating a stadium in downtown Spokane, adjacent to the Spokane Veteran’s Memorial Arena and The Podium Sportsplex, Spokane is setting the stage as a destination for not only national level sporting events, but concerts, festivals, fairs and more. What activities does YOUR stadium have in store?
Greater detail about the proposed stadium, possible uses, and economic impact study can be found at www.downtownspokanestadium.org.