$22.8 million in renovations planned at Avista Stadium
Updates mandated by MLB have deadline of opening day 2025March 30th, 2023
The Spokane Indians Baseball Club, Spokane County, and the city of Spokane Valley recently reached an agreement to share the $22.8 million cost of planned Avista Stadium renovations, and Chris Duff, president of the club says, he anticipates having shovels in the ground when the team’s 2023 season ends in September.
The county has agreed to match the team’s funding of capital improvements up to $8 million, and Spokane Valley has authorized a $2 million contribution for construction efforts.
A contractor hasn’t been selected yet.
Avista Stadium is located next to the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center, at 602 N. Havana, in Spokane Valley. The Spokane County-owned facility was built in 1958 and has a seating capacity of 6,800.
In a memorandum of understanding with the club, Spokane County commissioners noted as a deciding factor in their support for the project that Spokane Indians baseball games generate an economic impact of $24 million for the community.
The stadium improvements are mandated by Major League Baseball.
In 2020, MLB allowed its contract with Minor League Baseball to expire, allowing MLB to negotiate directly with each minor league team. The Spokane Indians Baseball Club was one of 120 teams allowed to continue playing, with the caveat that the club make significant renovations to its facilities or risk losing the franchise.
Duff says the next step is to work with the county and reassess the Avista Stadium master plan created by Spokane-based ALSC Architects.
The original Avista Stadium master plan divided the improvements into multiple phases. Some of those improvements include the construction of indoor batting cages, renovation and expansion of the home and visiting teams’ clubhouses, replacement and expansion of the dugouts, and a full field renovation. The final phase includes a 360-degree elevated stadium concourse, a new entrance gate at the southwest corner of the grounds, and relocating the ballclub’s administration offices to the county Parks & Recreation building, at 404 N. Havana.
Although the team likely will miss initial stadium-improvement deadlines set by MLB, including $7.8 million worth of renovations by opening day 2023, Duff says he’s confident that the team will be able to meet its final 2025 deadlines.
Duff says he hasn’t heard any details regarding a penalty system MLB may have in place for missing interim facility-improvement deadlines.