The Spokane organization that successfully lobbied for the $53 million indoor sports arena called The Podium has won an industry award for its work.
The Spokane Sports Commission for the first time has won the Sports Events and Tourism Association’s Destination Branding and Marketing Campaign of the Year award for a city with a population of fewer than 500,000 residents.
The Podium will be able to seat 4,500 spectators in bleachers that will rise several stories above street level. Its 135,000 square foot space is to play host to basketball, volleyball and martial arts competitions for collegiate and national-level athletes, but the main draw for local sports officials will be its 200-meter banked track powered by hydraulics.
As part of its winning logo, Spokane Sports incorporated an image of the new hydraulic track from The Podium, which is expected to be completed by 2021.
Ashley Blake, director of sports development for Spokane Sports, said the award was a first for the organization. She said Spokane Sports received help on the logo from Tran Creative, an agency based in Coeur d’Alene.
“We want to be pioneers in the industry,” Blake said. “So we took those attributes and really incorporated those into the brand. Our updated brand helps us step apart from the competition and ultimately helps us win some future events.”
The award was for work during the 2019 calendar year. The 28th annual Sports ETA Symposium was canceled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but Spokane Sports will be recognized at its next event in April in Birmingham, Alabama, according to a news release.
“Sports ETA is our national association,” Blake said. The award decision “is made by our counterparts. So, being recognized within the industry for our efforts and our brand really meant a lot to our organization.”
The Spokane Sports Commission is a nonprofit, economic development organization responsible for recruiting, retaining and facilitating sports events for the Spokane region, according to its website.