The long debate over a new Spokane stadium continues, as the Spokane Public Facilities District announces a deal for a downtown facility with the Spokane Public Schools.
The specifics of a new downtown Spokane stadium are still to be released, past the budget ($31 million), the capacity (5,000), and the capacity to host high-school football and soccer games. As you’ll recall, city leaders have pushed for years for a replacement for the existing Joe Albi Stadium in northwest Spokane, and in 2018 voters rejected the plan in a nonbonding advisory vote.
An enticement back in 2018, and one today, is the use of a high-school facility to house a professional USL League One team. From the Spokesman-Review:
If a new multi-use athletic stadium is going to be built in downtown Spokane, United Soccer League vice president of club expansion Dan Holman considers a potential Lilac City franchise “the gravy on top” of a decision that will benefit the region….
“Even without a soccer team, this stadium, in my opinion, (downtown) is the right place to put it,” said Holman, who has been in talks with Spokane officials and stakeholders about potential league expansion. “It’s a more accessible venue, it’s going to really drive attendances for high school football and high school soccer, save the school district a lot of money on operations.”
The Spokane school board is set to discuss and potentially approve the plan Wednesday night. Right now there is only one western USL League One team–in Tucson–as the third-level league runs from Toronto and Boston to Texas and Arizona.