Spokane Public Schools will hear stadium proposal Wednesday

SPOKANE, Wash. — The newest downtown stadium proposal will now face it’s biggest test so far in getting funded—the Spokane Public Schools board.

On Wednesday evening, the board will hear from the Downtown Spokane Partnership and United Soccer League in a special meeting. It was just a week ago the DSP and USL unveiled their proposal for the newest downtown stadium which would be built along Boone Ave.

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The proponents have a tough pitch to make, so they’re trying to make it worth it for Spokane Public Schools. This 5,000-seat stadium would be owned by the Spokane Public Facilities District with SPS providing the funds needed to complete the project.

The school district would have first priority to schedule 20 football games and 20 soccer games in the fall. The USL would have priority to schedule January through August.

The Downtown Spokane Partnership hired Johnson Consulting to look at the economic impact of a downtown stadium. According to their finding, after five years the downtown stadium would see $11.4 million worth of spending around the area, it would create 71 full time jobs, and between sales and hotel tax it would bring in $562,000 a year.

Compare that to the Joe Albi reconstruction, which the Spokane School Board has already approved, and was getting ready to start construction on without a USL team. There would only be $1.3 million in economic impact from stadium events, only 12 full-time jobs created, and taxes would only bring in $67,000 a year.

“For the same money, we can create real jobs, real economic development, and we can save the school district about $17.5 million that they could put back into their families and their students,” said DSP President Mark Richard during the initial project reveal last week.

Johnson Consulting also did an impact study on developing the land at the Joe Albi site into a multi-sport, multi-field complex. They estimate a $6 million annual economic impact which is four times the impact from just a reconstruction of the 70 year old stadium.

Officials from SPS said they would not speak on the matter until after the presentation Wednesday night.

To watch the meeting starting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday night, visit the Spokane Schools website.