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Local commission examines new sports complex

The concept of a new multiuse sports complex is getting a positive reception from Spokane businesses and sports groups.

For now it’s only a concept, but the Spokane Sports Commission is taking early steps toward the completion of a facility that it says would attract dozens of national events and an economic boost of tens of millions of dollars.

The project will cost $20-25 million, according to the group’s website

Jim Murphy, a retired Spokane County Superior Court judge and the chair of the group’s Project Sports Committee, said Wednesday that the complex would allow the Spokane area to compete for more than 110 events “that we cannot qualify for now as a host because of a lack of facilities.”

Among the sports that might be drawn to the facility are Masters Track and Field, wrestling, table tennis, ice skating and cheerleading, Murphy said.

The group has contracted with a consultant, The Sports Management Group of Berkeley, Calif., to study the facility’s economic impact, costs and the merits of the two proposed sites for the 128,000-square-foot complex.

Two potential locations are on the north bank of the Spokane River just southeast of the Spokane Arena, and in Spokane Valley in the Mirabeau area near the YMCA facility.

Findings are expected next month.

The conceptual floor plan, developed in partnership with ALSC Architects of Spokane, shows two connected buildings: a 76,000-square-foot field house with a 200-meter track, lockers and offices; and a 51,600-square-foot ice rink, which also would include offices.

The two buildings would be joined by a main entry, ticket office, restrooms and a restaurant.

The biggest question marks are how the proposed facility would be funded and operated.