Don’t downsize Albi
It was good to have WSU hold its Crimson and Gray game at Joe Albi Stadium on Saturday.
A crowd of 8,340 attended the event. WSU knows the importance of including Spokane and the surrounding areas in its overall football schedule. The number (8,340) is important considering that the Spokane Public Schools facilities planners will ask for public input about decreasing Albi Stadium to 6,000 seats.
Spokane Parks Department supports downsizing and selling it to the school district. The Spokane Sports Commission supports reduction. As Spokane continues to grow, it will need a stadium bigger than 6,000 seats.
Is the stadium a dinosaur at 26,000 seats? Perhaps it is, because it doesn’t get used to capacity but it could.
Past EWU-Montana games drew 24,000 people at Missoula. EWU’s Roos Field holds half of what Albi Stadium holds.
Downsizing to 6,000 seats could cost $18 million. At $250,000 per year (my estimate) to maintain Albi Stadium, the $18 million would cover about 70 years of maintenance. Add new artificial turf at $1 million every 10 years and you have more than 40 years of maintenance. For $18 million we could cover the stadium and make it an indoor, year-round venue.