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Spokane stadium ready for high school sports, professional soccer

The Lewis and Clark High School band performs at Tuesday's ribbon cutting ceremony at the new One Spokane Stadium.
Doug Nadvornick/Spokane Public Radio
The Lewis and Clark High School band performs at Tuesday's ribbon cutting ceremony at the new One Spokane Stadium. Students from Rogers and Ferris High Schools sit in the adjoining section.

One Spokane Stadium is ready for its first two student athletic events on Thursday.

Spokane Public Schools and its stadium partners officially opened the five-thousand seat building Tuesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Among the parade of speakers was Katy Bruya from the executive board of the Downtown Spokane Partnership. She said the stadium will bring millions in economic benefits to the region every year and serve as a catalyst for future development of the north bank of the Spokane River.

“But there are qualitative benefits to this venue. Sports have the unique ability to unify a community, something so important in these times and it’s especially meaningful to able to cheer on our own families and neighbors in this world-class facility in downtown, the heart of our region," she said.

Mayor Nadine Woodward compared the new stadium to a recent facility that opened in Colorado Springs. She says that served as a catalyst for a flurry of new projects.

“Housing, mixed-use development, small businesses, restaurants, breweries, wineries, all of those great things. And then also thinking about how we can finally fit this public space, this facility in this location, to also connect in a better way our downtown, Riverfront Park and the north bank and all that’s happening here," she said.

Students from the city’s five public high schools were also part of the opening ceremony. Some of them will likely play on the new artificial grass field.

One Spokane’s inaugural game will start Thursday afternoon at 4 between the girls’ soccer teams from Shadle Park and Pullman High Schools. The football teams from North Central and Clarkston will kick off at 7.

The $38 million stadium will also serve as the home for the Spokane Velocity men’s soccer team, which will begin play next spring in the United Soccer League.

The stadium is also open for the public to view on Saturday, starting with a dedication of the Joe Albi Way Plaza next to the facility. That will begin at 10:30. The public can tour the stadium from 11 to 1:30.

One of the Northwest's most seasoned reporters is returning to his SPR roots. Doug Nadvornick will be heard frequently on KPBX and KSFC reporting on local news.