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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sports County USA: Spokane County commissioners’ resolution designates new nickname

Runners compete in the 400 meter dash Dec. 11 during the Spokane Invitational at The Podium. The Spokane County commissioners passed a resolution last week dedicated the county as Sports County USA, a nickname Commissioner Al French hopes will serve as a valuable marketing tool.   (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

Spokane County has a new nickname.

In mid-December, the county commissioners unanimously passed a resolution designating Spokane County as Sports County USA.

“It’s a big deal,” said County Commissioner Al French, who came up with the idea.

French said he can’t think of another county in America that tops Spokane County in sports offerings.

“I think the only thing you can’t do is ocean surf here,” French said. “I’ve actually snow skied in the morning and water skied in the afternoon (in Spokane County).”

Calling Spokane County “Sports County USA” might seem like a bit of a reach to some sports fans, but French said the title is deserved.

There’s the newly opened Podium, which some consider to be one of the best indoor track and field facilities in the country, French noted. A new stadium is coming to downtown Spokane. There’s also Avista Stadium, the Spokane Arena, Hoopfest, Gonzaga basketball and Bloomsday.

Spokane County Commissioner Josh Kerns noted that the county also has soccer facilities, ice rinks and both hunting and hiking opportunities.

“You can pretty much do it all here in Spokane County,” Kerns said.

French said the nickname will be a valuable marketing tool by groups including Visit Spokane, the Spokane Public Facilities District and Spokane Sports Commission.

“They can all use that as part of the marketing efforts to bring tournaments and other events to Spokane County,” French said.

No other county had previously declared itself Sports County USA, French said. He added that the county has purchased a Sports County USA domain name.

Stephanie Curran, CEO of the Spokane Public Facilities District – which oversees the Spokane Arena and the Podium – said in a county news release that the district is excited to start using the Sports County USA moniker.

“We are primed and more ready than ever to live up to this ambitious designation,” Curran said.