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

Spokane Public Facilities District, STCU ink sponsorship deal to rename The Podium

STCU has inked a 10-year sponsorship deal with the Spokane Public Facilities District for naming The Podium.  (Courtesy photo)

Visitors to downtown Spokane will soon see a new name at The Podium.

STCU has inked a 10-year agreement with the Spokane Public Facilities District that will put the credit union’s name on The Podium at 511 W. Dean Ave.

Under the agreement, the venue, which hosts athletic competitions, concerts and community events, will be rebranded to The Podium Powered by STCU, according to a news release.

“This sponsorship is a vote of confidence for a vibrant community that embraces visitors,” Ezra Eckhardt, STCU’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

“It is an investment in Spokane’s continued economic and cultural growth.”

STCU’s sponsorship of the venue costs $100,000 a year, according to the credit union.

Sponsorship talks between STCU and the Spokane Public Facilities District began several months ago, said Dan Hansen, spokesman for STCU.

“We had been watching for a while for opportunities,” he said.

“Our whole thing during the pandemic was helping the community through the crisis, but also making sure we are looking beyond that.”

The venue’s opening in December was ideal timing for a sponsorship deal as the tail end of the pandemic was in sight for Spokane County, he added.

“The events held there already have been a big success,” Hansen said of the venue.

The Podium Powered by STCU signage will appear on interior and exterior spaces of the venue beginning in late summer, Hansen said.

Outside the venue, attendees will find the STCU Plaza, a gathering place at the top of a switchback path leading up from Riverfront Park. The plaza will house a glass-walled space inside branded as the STCU Room.

The Podium Powered by STCU has the West Coast’s only 200-meter hydraulic banked indoor track.

The 135,000-square-foot facility’s floor can be configured for 21 wrestling mats, 16 volleyball courts or nine basketball courts.

In February, The Podium Powered by STCU hosted 450 athletes for the nationally-televised USATF Indoor Championships.

The USA Karate National Championships will take place June 30-July 3 at the venue.

The competition is expected to draw more than 4,500 athletes, coaches and spectators and have an estimated economic impact of nearly $7.5 million, according to the Spokane Public Facilities District.

“The Podium shows how partnerships make great things happen,” Stephanie Curran, CEO of the Spokane Public Facilities District, said in a statement.

“Thanks to the support of local leaders, we’re bringing indoor track and field to Spokane, and maximizing the investment to include other sports, graduations and concerts.”

The Spokane Public Facilities District also oversees operation of Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Spokane Convention Center, and First Interstate Center for the Arts, which hosts STCU Best of Broadway productions.

STCU, founded in 1934, has 38 branches in Eastern Washington and North Idaho.

The Spokane-based credit union has more than 250,000 members.