By Andrea Morris, Administrative Assistant, NAI Black, Spokane, WA
In late November, the NAI Black team was invited for a private tour of the newest addition to Spokane’s North Bank: The Podium. The detail and care put into the building’s design are evident as you move through each space. Our tour took us through the different levels of the facility, designed with different aspects in mind: the lower level for athletes, main level for the public, and upstairs for media crews and equipment. This separation allows for crowds to flow easily without disrupting event operations or media coverage. Prior to completion, this project went largely unnoticed, but this striking façade and economic potential can’t be missed.
According to a press release from https://www.thepodiumusa.com/, the Podium stands on a 15-foot basalt outcropping, giving this 135,000 SF sports stadium its own natural podium overlooking Riverfront Park, Spokane’s crown-jewel. Permanent seating can host up to 3,000 spectators, and an additional 1,000 portable seats and 237 VIP seats are available as well. The venue boasts a state-of-the-art 200-meter hydraulic 6-lane banked track that, when laid flat, allows floor space for other events including meetups and championships for Volleyball, Martial Arts, and more. The event schedule shows a series of Track & Field meetups throughout the winter season and the 2022 USA Karate National Championships in early summer. Ashley Blake, Vice President of Spokane Sports, shared her hopes with us for a large variety of sporting events she is working tirelessly to scheduled at The Podium.
Colin Anderson of Integrus Architecture, the Project Designer and Manager, showed us early estimates from the team involved in the building’s construction and inception that project these events will bring about 23,000 additional visitors to Spokane annually, contributing $33 Million to Spokane’s economy, about $1.7 Million in tax revenue. The press release from The Podium website goes on to explain, “The Podium has the potential to create a true athletic brand – both for the facility itself, and, by extension, for the city of Spokane.” The hospitality sector will, no doubt, benefit greatly. This comes as a relief after the hard hit dealt by the COVID-19 shutdown.
This newly constructed site is only a preview of what is to come. While we wandered the grounds of the Podium, crews were across the street preparing for the ground-breaking ceremony for a new 5,000-seat multi-use venue proposed by the Downtown Spokane Partnership (DSP) and the United Soccer League (USL) to not only replace Joe Albi Stadium, but enhance the offerings provided by such a facility. Dave Black, CEO of NAI Black, among other local officials, leaders and high school athletes, enjoyed the privilege of breaking ground on this new project with a ceremonial golden shovel. The downtown stadium’s website, https://www.downtownspokanestadium.org/, published an Economic Impact Study that projects approximately $11.4 Million more in direct and indirect spending in Spokane’s economy, annually.
At the end of our tour, the NAI Black office was buzzing with excitement about the possibilities and benefits The Podium will bring to Spokane, and what a new Downtown stadium could mean for our local economy. We would like to thank Spokane Public Facilities District, Spokane Sports, Lydig Construction, Davis Architects, Integrus Architecture, MW Consulting Engineers, Coffman Engineers, Helveticka, Apollo, Land Expressions, Pick Electric, Inc., Performance Contracting, Inc., Piersol Construction, Inc., American Ironworks & Erectors, Inc., and Allied Steel for their work on this monumental project, and for inviting us in to see the completed project before athletes arrived to break in the equipment.