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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  K-12 education

‘We’re back’: Monsters of Rock wins fans on Spokane Public Schools board

UPDATED: Thu., Feb. 18, 2021

Heavy-metal fans crush up against the stage at Joe Albi Stadium in 1988 to get closer to performers in the Monsters of Rock concert. Concert promoters are hoping for another such show in August and will be in discussions with the Spokane Public Schools board about leasing Albi Stadium.  (Kit King)
Heavy-metal fans crush up against the stage at Joe Albi Stadium in 1988 to get closer to performers in the Monsters of Rock concert. Concert promoters are hoping for another such show in August and will be in discussions with the Spokane Public Schools board about leasing Albi Stadium. (Kit King)

The Monsters of Rock reunion tour is off to an encouraging start.

Indeed, Wednesday night’s special meeting of the Spokane Public Schools board was a reunion in itself, with many of the same faces.

“We’re back!” said Justin Kobluk, president of West Coast Entertainment, as he offered a proposal that sounded much like last year’s.

That event, a reprise of the legendary concert at Albi Stadium in 1988, was canceled by COVID-19. Meanwhile, the district had begun work toward demolition of the 70-year-old stadium.

“We figured that this was a done deal, that it would never come again,” said Kobluk, who noted that 2020 was a lost year for concerts.

“But the stadium is still standing … and we realized that there may be a path, because a lot of the artists we were looking at are still interested in the project,” Kobluk said.

“If it happens, it would be a two-day event that would be epic for Spokane,” Kobluk promised.

Everyone in the Zoom meeting agreed, and the board gave tentative approval to Kobluk’s proposal to hold the concert at Albi Stadium on the third weekend of August.

Obstacles remain, however, and some may not be resolved before what Kobluk termed a “go, no-go” deadline early in March.

The virus remains the biggest roadblock. For the event to turn a profit, it would probably need at least 30,000 fans over the two days.

Kobluk said he has been in consultation with Dr. Francisco Velazquez, interim health director at the Spokane Regional Health District, but conceded that it’s too early to know what COVID-19 metrics will look like in August.

“Right now he doesn’t have all the answers,” said Kobluk, who added that artists are also “struggling to commit” to events.

“This year, it’s just different,” Kobluk said.

Meanwhile, the district is working with Garco Construction, the primary contractor for the Albi project, to determine how much additional cost would be incurred by delaying the demolition from March to September, after the concert date.

West Coast Entertainment has tentatively agreed to pay up to $550,000 to compensate for those delays.

It’s still unclear whether that amount will be enough; however, Greg Forsyth, director of capital projects for the district, said he felt confident in the $550,000 figure.

Mark Anderson, associate superintendent, said the district “feels that we can get the stadium done between September and next August.”

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