The Podium Sportsplex
What It Is
The Sportsplex is the next big public recreation facility in downtown following on the heels of the Spokane Convention Center expansion. It is a project endorsed by the Downtown Spokane Partnership Board of directors over two years ago because of its significant projected economic and cultural impact on the downtown core and the wider community. Though the project will be sited on the northern edge of Riverfront Park, it is a separate project from the Riverfront Park redevelopment project. The facility itself is projected as including two parts; an ice-house with an NHL-sized sheet and seating for approximately 1,500, and, a multi-purpose fieldhouse featuring a 200 meter, six lane indoor hydraulic banked track, and flexible interior space that would accommodate up to 17 volleyball courts, or 10 basketball courts, or 21 wrestling mats. The expected size of the facility will come to 180,000 square feet and will serve two primary purposes; to host large tournaments which generate tourism and to serve as a practice and competition venue for local sports groups and community programming. The benefit to the downtown and wider community is enormous; as projected in an independent studies conducted by Gonzaga University and the Sports Facilities Advisory, the Sportsplex would generate an estimated $33m of revenue to the community on an annual basis. Just as the Convention Center expansion has brought larger conventions to downtown, so would the Sportsplex attract events that are just out of reach based on available facilities to come to downtown. The projected $33m additional tourism spending per year is based on projections of 18,000-23,000 additional out-of-town visitors per year, staying an additional 26,000-46,000 hotel stays per year. An additional key benefit the Sportsplex will provide is the availability of world-class facilities for local sports teams during those times when it is not in-use for major tournaments.
The DSP Board of Directors endorsed the project itself and endorsed legislation in Olympia that would allow the Public Facilities District to take on bonding capacity sufficient to build the Sportsplex. Staff had Board members have been in regular communication with our legislators to further the passage of the bill which has so far received bi-partisan support in the House. Its relationship to the Park project represents a major opportunity to make the most of that project.
Where We Are
Construction on The Podium began in early 2020. A unique financing plan has been developed that brings together in partnership the Spokane Public Facilities District (SPFD), State of Washington, City of Spokane, Spokane County, Spokane Parks and Hotel/Motel Association to fully fund the project. By utilizing an existing State sales tax rebate, lodging taxes, SPFD reserves, and a one-time contribution from the City of Spokane, the project will have the funds to construct and operate the facility without an increase in local taxes.
The Podium has been selected as the site for the 2022 USATF Indoor Championships. The Championships will be held February 25–26, 2022, and will serve as Team USATF’s qualifying meet for the World Athletics Indoor Championships to be contested March 11-13, 2022 in Belgrade, Serbia.Back to Strategic Priorities