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United Soccer League team interested in playing in Spokane

The United Soccer League co-held a press conference discussing the possibilities of using a downtown stadium.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane County Treasurer Michael Baumgartner continued his push to build a new stadium downtown. 

This time, bringing with him the chief operating officer the United Soccer League.

“This community is a prime, fantastic community to have professional soccer,” Baumgartner said.

Together they held a press conference to pitch their plan. Baumgartner wants the Spokane Public School board to reconsider its decision to replace Joe Albi stadium at its current site and Justin Papadakis believes Spokane is the perfect fit for a team.

“Spokane's a city on the rise,” Papadakis explained. “USL is a league on the rise and I think coming together we can have one of the top professional soccer teams in the country.”

Baumgartner said building a smaller stadium on the north side of the Spokane River is more cost-effective and a better fit for the growing downtown core.

“I mean this is something that would work for taxpayers. It'll work for parents and students first and it'll work for our economy.”

Not everyone is on board with his proposal. Mary Alberts lives downtown and worries a stadium would only add to the congestion.

“If you put in a stadium what is that going to be like for the parents who are now enjoying ample parking, free parking over at Joe Albi,” Alberts passionately exclaimed.

Before any decision is made, the newly elected school board would have to decide whether to stay with the current plan to replace Albi or consider Baumgartner's plan.

The country treasurer's hoping the allure of a professional soccer team will make the idea more appealing.

“Nothing will happen downtown unless it's a win-win for our entire community,” Baumgartner said.

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