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Land deal limits usage

Sun., July 21, 2013, midnight

The city of Spokane and Spokane School District 81 have a posposal to swap 20 acres near Joe Albi Stadium for two acres. (Editor’s note: The land swap between Spokane Public Schools and the city of Spokane will not be finalized until after public hearings have been held before the Spokane City Council and the school board.)

Is it the Albi south parking area bordering Wellesley? If so, then the city has removed 2,600 parking spots from Albi’s use. That cuts parking for 10,400 fans. Current space, after the Merkel Complex was developed, allowed parking for 4,900 cars or 19,800 people. Now, it will be 2,300 cars on site, or 9,200 people max. Albi seats 26,000. Get rid of parking and you cripple stadium capacity and opportunities.

Washington State University’s Crimson/Gray football game drew 8,300 fans. The outdoor Shock game drew 16,200 fans. An Eastern Washington University-University of Montana game would fill the stadium, but some people want to make the stadium smaller and a cozier experience. Montana said they were up for a game at Albi a few years ago. Is EWU?

Is the land swap part of a plan to reduce Albi Stadium to a 6,000 seat capacity high school stadium? An upcoming $18 million bond includes “Albi Stadium Renovation,” – oops “reduction” – to remove the bermed seating. Maybe it is a bad land swap.

Paul Hyndman



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