Spokane Journal of Business

USL Spokane, PFD finalize stadium lease

Professional soccer clubs to play 35-40 matches annually in One Spokane Stadium

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Karina Elias
-Karina Elias
Ryan and Katie Harnetiaux are principals in Aequus Sports LLC, which operates United Soccer League Spokane.

The Spokane Public Facilities District and United Soccer League Spokane have finalized a 10-year contract that clears the way for professional soccer at the new One Spokane Stadium venue starting next spring.

Ryan Harnetiaux, USL Spokane’s club co-owner, says the agreement between the PFD and USL Spokane is a 10-year contract with the option to renew twice for up to 20 years. The contract includes the acknowledgement that USL Spokane will host between 35 and 40 soccer matches annually at the 5,000-seat stadium, which is located at the southeast corner of Boone Avenue and Howard Street, just east of the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.

As reported earlier in the Journal, the agreement between the PFD and USL Spokane had been pending while the facilities district finalized its agreement to manage the facility for Spokane Public Schools, which constructed and owns the stadium. Matt Meyer, director of entertainment for the PFD, says that agreement was reached on Friday, Sept. 15.  

PFD CEO Stephanie Curran says, “We are excited to be able to bring professional soccer to Spokane. I am especially excited for all the young aspiring soccer players in Spokane, boys and girls, to have professional players they can look up to right here.”

Separately, USL Spokane’s staff of 15 moved into the club’s new headquarters in downtown Spokane on Sept. 1, says Harnetiaux.

Aequus Sports LLC, the ownership entity for USL Spokane, has leased two suites in the Bennett Block building at 530 W. Main. One suite is a 1,300-square-foot space dedicated to technical staff, such as coaches and trainers, says Harnetiaux. The other is a 3,700-square-foot front-office suite for administrative and support staff, he adds.

Over the summer, USL Spokane made several announcements as the owners began to form the infrastructure to build professional soccer teams here, which will include a professional men’s team, a professional women’s team, and a women’s pre-professional team

USL has announced the men’s team name as the Spokane Velocity and hired staff to fill several leadership roles. Harnetiaux says the club has received over 100 applications from around the world for the role of Spokane Velocity’s head coach. So far, the club has narrowed its selection down to eight candidates, he says.

Tomorrow, Sept. 26, One Spokane Stadium will host a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony, with several events to follow the rest of the week.

Karina Elias
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Reporter Karina Elias covers the banking and finance industry. A California native, she attended the University of California at Santa Barbara. Karina loves salsa dancing, traveling, baking, cuddling with her dog, and writing creative fiction and non-fiction.  

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