A USL official will be among the participants at a press conference next week on a potential downtown Spokane stadium, as the league is expected to show interest in placing a team there if the facility is built.
Discussions about building a stadium in downtown Spokane that would house a professional soccer club have taken place before, as an idea floated in 2018 called for the construction of a venue that would also host high school football. That plan, however, effectively stalled in November of that year, when voters favored a new facility at the Joe Albi Stadium site in northwest Spokane over the downtown location in an advisory referendum.
A new push to build a downtown stadium for high school football and pro soccer is now looking to gain momentum, with USL chief operating officer Justin Papadakis and Spokane County treasurer Michael Baumgartner slated to participate in a news conference in Spokane on Tuesday. The USL is expected to reveal its interest in placing a team in Spokane, provided that a downtown stadium is built. More from The Spokesman-Review:
Baumgartner hopes the possibility of a professional soccer franchise would further tip the scales toward a downtown location.
“Of course, a downtown stadium would be first and foremost about supporting local high school sports and the USL understands that, but they are very excited about the possibility of bringing big-time professional soccer to the Spokane area.”
At Tuesday’s news conference, USL chief operating officer Justin Papadakis plans to display several stadium prototype designs that can be used for high school football and lacrosse, in addition to soccer.
“They have a great track record and outstanding 5,000- to 10,000-spectator capacity stadium designs for $10 million to $25 million,” Baumgartner said.
Baumgartner has been lobbying for reconsideration of a downtown stadium. Following the November 2018 advisory referendum, the Spokane Public Schools adopted plans for a stadium at the Joe Albi site, but that concept is still in an early design phase.
Rendering of proposed downtown Spokane stadium issued prior to the 2018 refrendum courtesy Trek Architecture.
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