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Spokane's downtown high school sports stadium might still happen

Joe Albi was supposed to be renovated, but it may cost more than building a brand new stadium downtown.

SPOKANE, Wash. — A downtown Spokane high school stadium may become a reality even though it was voted against. 

Spokane County Treasurer Michael Baumgartner is digging into the possibility of making the stadium happen, and said a downtown location would be better for the city.

“If you just think about a community as dynamic and growing as Spokane, we really need a stadium,” he explained.

Baumgartner said he’s bringing the proposal back up because he doesn’t want Spokane to make a decision they’ll look back on n 30 years and regret. When the idea was first brought up in 2017, he said he wasn’t involved with the process.

RELATED: 'Monsters of Rock' tour at Joe Albi Stadium is one step closer to reality

“It would actually be less expensive to build downtown on a parking lot essentially than it would be for what has to go through in Albi," he said.

A downtown stadium makes sense because, according to Baumgartner. He said it would save 2 million dollars in construction and operation costs. 

He believes the initial vote against the downtown stadium was rushed and voters were confused about the whole process.

This new proposal would be voted on by the school board, who has three new members since the last time the stadium was discussed.

“A previous school board can’t bind a future legislature to what they should so they really have to look at this with new eyes," Baumgartner said.

Replacing the historical Joe Albi stadium would be recreational fields geared towards soccer and other youth sports.

As of now, there isn’t a timeline of when these changes could happen, but the school board is supposed to discuss the proposal in their next meeting on January 22nd.

RELATED: Construction on Spokane Sportsplex starts the week of Dec. 9

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