‘It’s a really good day for Spokane’: Community reacts to downtown stadium approval

Proposed Downtown Stadium Graphic

SPOKANE, Wash. — A stadium in downtown Spokane is a go. The decision came after months of discussion and community input. The downtown stadium has a long way to go before it breaks ground, but this step is something many are celebrating.

Getting to this point did not happen overnight. There was push back, concerns and of course, numbers to crunch. Over time, Spokane Public Schools expects to save millions in operating and maintenance costs. There was some opposition.

“One is just a high level philosophical belief in respecting the voters from the advisory vote,” said board member Nikki Lockwood.

A 2018 advisory vote left out more than 10,000 school district families. Though from the vote, people said they wanted a stadium at Joe Albi.

RELATED: Spokane Public Schools Board approves downtown stadium proposal

“We worked really hard, we say quietly, for the better part of a year and half before we ever brought this forward because we knew we had a high bar to reach,” said Downtown Spokane Partnership CEO Mark Richard.

Other big issues many have are parking and noise levels that would impact the Civic Theatre.

“Just big unknowns that make me weary of choosing downtown, especially to the adjacent neighborhood, and specifically the Spokane Civic Theatre,” said Lockwood.

In a statement to 4 News Now, the Civic Theatre said,

“Spokane Civic Theatre has collaborated with SPS and PFD to support their effort in a way that not only lessens the impact of a downtown stadium on Spokane Civic Theatre, but that also designs programs that enhance arts throughout the Spokane community including in its schools.”

Local lawmakers also weighed in and several representatives have vowed to solidify state funding to help soundproof the theater.

“I think this is a good day. It’s a really good day for Spokane. I think it’s one we’re going to look back on in years to come as a bit of a catalyst and a historic moment,” said Richard.

The next step in this is writing and negotiating a contract. It is not clear how long that will take, but they hope to start construction by next February.

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