Voters will weigh in on new stadium location

Spokane voters will weigh in this November on the location of a new sports complex.

Spokane city council members voted 5-1 Monday night to put an advisory vote on the Nov. 6 ballot. Voters will choose between replacing Joe Albi stadium, or building a new sports complex in downtown Spokane near the arena. But the outcome of the vote will not bind the school board to build at either location.

Spokane Public Schools are asking voters to approve a $456 million bond in November to build new schools and a $30 million stadium – the question is where.

Either replace Joe Albi, or build a new stadium next to the Spokane arena, but that option would require a new parking garage which would cost an estimated $10 million.

The city council approved their own $77 million bond to update city libraries. There was discussion to add more money to that bond to pay for a parking garage, but several council members feared that request could overshadow or compete with the library bond.

Those fears prompted the city council to indefinitely table the proposal during their meeting last week, but following a joint meeting with the school board, it was clear that members of the community wanted to voice their opinion on the issue.

Several council members including council president Ben Stuckart feel using public dollars on public safety is more important than assisting with the construction cost of a new stadium.