A financial plan for $22 million in Avista Stadium renovations received a boost when the city of Spokane Valley pledged $2 million in tourism-tax proceeds to help fund the project, led by the Spokane Indians (High-A; Northwest League).
In Spokane, the renovations to Avista Stadium–which originally opened in 1958 after four months of construction as home of the relocating PCL Los Angeles Angels, displaced by the arrival of the Brooklyn Dodgers to LA–are extensive and will cost an estimated $22 million when all improvements, including $6 million in fan upgrades outside the scope of MLB-mandated spending, are tallied. Spokane County, which owns the ballpark, has committed for $8 million, leaving the Indians to find sources for the remaining $14 million.
And there are many, many strings attached, with the county spending positioned as a matching measure. The Indians would need to raise another $8 million to match the country commitment; raising less will mean the county commits to less. The county is also proposing a a new lease at $100,000 per year (the current lease is for $25,000 annually), with the team assuming all maintenance costs now covered by the county, and the county receiving a chunk of any profits. (This is the county proposal; no word on whether the Indians agree.)
The Indians have also pledged $2 million, and with the city contribution, that puts the total as $12 million. One potential new funding source: State aid to all of Washington state’s MiLB teams (Tri-City, Everett, Tacoma, Spokane), with $5.8 million potentially spent in Spokane. That would provide enough money to cover the MiLB-mandated ballpark improvements and then some, allowing the Indians to focus on fan-side improvements, including a wraparound concourse.
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