Public Weighs in on Downtown Spokane Stadium Proposal

Orange County SC

During a public meeting Wednesday, residents took the opportunity to weigh in on a downtown Spokane stadium proposal that is trying to gain new life. 

Discussions for a new downtown stadium seemingly hit a roadblock earlier this week, as the Spokane City Council voted 5-2 Monday to table a bond measure for the project. The proposal has been touted by Spokane mayor David Condon, and it calls for a new 5,000-seat stadium that could host professional soccer, high school football, and other events to be constructed near Spokane Arena. The downtown stadium concept has drawn the intrigue of deepRoot Sports & Entertainment–an entity led by Howard Cornfield, a former general manager of the bygone San Antonio Scorpions (NASL)–which has shown an interest in placing a professional soccer club there.

In the aftermath of Monday’s city council vote, some officials have been trying to bring the idea back up for discussion, contending that the public should have more of a say in the proposal. The downtown stadium became a hot topic during a public meeting Wednesday, as some residents showed support for the project and others expressed their concerns. More from The Spokesman-Review:

Brian O’Rourk, a member of the Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association, said the construction of a downtown stadium would allow for new fields at the Dwight Merkel Sports Complex to allow a burgeoning sport to blossom.

“If we had field availability, we have grant money from the western side of the state that would help create teams at North Central, Shadle and Rogers,” O’Rourk said.

Not everyone believed the downtown stadium was a good idea.

“Private companies and owners stand to make personal wealth while Spokane taxpayers foot the bill for building this facility,” said Sydney Childers, a South Hill resident who teaches theater for Spokane Public Schools.

What remains to be seen is whether the Spokane City Council will revive stadium discussions, and ultimately decide to move forward with a plan to put the project up for a November referendum. The council is under a tight deadline, as referendum language for the November ballot must be submitted to the Spokane County auditor by Tuesday.

Image of USL action courtesy USL and Orange County SC.

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