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Downtown stadium survey closes March 31

The public is invited to weigh in on a proposal to scrap the current project to replace Joe Albi Stadium at the existing site, and build near the Spokane Arena.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Public Schools board plans to decide in mid-April whether to continue with the current plan to replace Joe Albi Stadium at the existing site or scrap it for a downtown stadium.

Before they make that decision, they want public input. Last week, they held multiple virtual forums, where participants overwhelmingly voiced support for the downtown proposal.

However, thousands of people are voicing their opinion through an online survey, which will be open until March 31.

The district has a website detailing various components of and answering a variety of questions about the downtown proposal.

That site includes a link to a traffic study, which attempted to forecast essentially how bad the roads would get around downtown if the stadium were built there. 

To do that, they broke down typical attendance numbers at Spokane football games. They estimated that most events would bring in no more than about 500 or so cars. 

They estimated most roads in the area would see slight delays, but usually no more than a minute at most.They did, however, forecast heavy congestion for people coming in and out of the stadium site onto Washington Street, but said that could be remedied with basic traffic control during big events, and wouldn't require any permanent changes to the roads.

STA has also provided data to the district about public transit options at both sites.

At the Albi site, STA estimates just 9,000 people can access the stadium via bus in under 30 minutes. They estimate 79,000 people can get there in under an hour.

By contrast, 32,000 people could reach the downtown site in less than 30 minutes, and 195,000 in under an hour.

Those will be just some of the data points board members will have to consider. In the past, they've been wary of downtown proposals, because an advisory vote in 2018 suggested most people prefer the Albi site.