SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Arena has been a mainstay in our community for years. Just down the street, Spokane's The Podium will become the latest sporting facility in the community when it opens it's doors in November.
But, this isn't just any facility. It's the first of its kind west of the Mississippi thanks to a hydraulically banked track.
"It allows athletes to keep a really fast time. We can raise the banking to a 10 degree angle that allows athletes to really keep up their speed as they take a turn and really primes us to be able to set some American and world records in this facility," said Spokane Sports Director of Development Ashley Blake.
The building is already getting noticed, with it being awarded the 2022 USA Indoor Track and Field championships this past weekend by USA Track and Field.
"When we talked about the idea as a concept that we wanted to build an indoor track in the Northwest, they became very interested, obviously. Once we got to the point that this was a reality, it didn’t take USA Track and Field long to understand what they could be doing here in this venue. It was just natural for them to come and select Spokane and this facility," said Spokane Sports President and CEO Eric Sawyer.
Another plus of The Podium? It’s location compared to other track and field venues of its stature.
Organizers said that will play a role in the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships infusing an estimated $2 million into the local economy.
"Most venues of this type are kind of out on the outskirts of the community. There’s a big parking lot, you park your car, and you go in, and you’re in that building all day. As you can see here, we’re in the heart of downtown. Any tourists coming here, visitors, athletes, coaches, they’re all going to have to opportunity to come here, do their race, go back to their hotel if they want, walk through the park, go get something to eat, walk around downtown, warm up on the Centennial Trail, which is just outside our doors. The package that we offer here in Spokane is just unbelievable compared to any other city," said Curran.
Of course, this facility will be used for a wide variety of events over the years for our region. It is pretty much ready to go for all sports, with the exception of football and soccer.
"Gymnastics, judo, karate, you name it, if it’s a sport and it can be done in this facility, we will be doing it," said Curran.