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Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena (popularly known as Spokane Arena) a multi-purpose arena located in Spokane, Washingtonmarker, USA. The building is home to the Spokane Chiefs hockey team of the WHL, and the Spokane Shock arena football team of Arena Football 1.



With an aging Spokane Coliseummarker, along with a need for a larger facility more than twice the coliseum's capacity, the Spokane City Council and Board of Spokane County Commissioners formed the Spokane Public Facilities District to acquire, construct, own and operate sports and entertainment facilities with contiguous parking facilities. In 1990, the SPFD board members unanimously agreed on the following recommendations made by an economic feasibility/market study. The recommendations were:
  • To build an arena opposed to a domed stadium
  • An arena that could seat 12,000 to 14,000 with expansion capabilities
  • To build the new arena on city-owned land located adjacent to the old coliseum with on-site parking for 2,000 automobiles

Voters rejected the Spokane Arena four times in six years before agreeing to build it in 1991.

In the fall of that year, two ballot measures were put out to voters, and passed:
  • One, to publicly finance the construction of the arena through a property tax bond issue worth US$38 million
  • Two, a measure to validate the SPFD. Validation was important, because it would allow the district to implement a 2% hotel tax to further fund construction
In the fall of 1991, another funding measure was put out to voters and was passed. It involved a 0.1% raise in the sales tax. The passage of all three measures completed the US$44.8 million financining needed to build the arena.

The Spokane Arena broke ground on March 5, 1993, and opened in September 1995.

Building facts

The Spokane Arena has a capacity for:
  • 12,638 for end-stage concerts
  • 12,494 for center-stage shows
  • 12,210 for basketball
  • 10,759 for ice hockey
  • 10,471 for arena football
  • 6,951 for half-house shows

The arena has a state-of-the-art audio and video system. It consists of a x 20-foot Viacom Sports 12 mm LED display, which is capable of being used as two separate units. The video board has exceptional color reproduction and the best off-angle viewing available for any LED format. It can even be moved forward approximately and down to approximately off the arena floor. The arena also features a 350° color LED ribbon board, which is mounted on the fascia of the Spokane Arena bowl. It is capable of displaying text messages, animations, logos, scores and statistics.

Powered by Crown Amplifiers, the audio system is driven by Community RS880 speakers in the Arena bowl, Altec Lansing satellite speakers for the upper seating areas, and Bose speakers serve the concourse, dressing rooms, and backstage hallways.

Large public areas are one of the greater features of the Spokane Arena. The arena floor is , and the high concourse is a spacious . 16 luxury suites containing a total of 146 seats. In addition, there are six meeting rooms located at the Spokane Arena, totalling of meeting space.

On the Events Level, there are five truck docks with x 10-foot loading doors, one x 10-foot drive-in door, and one x 24-foot drive-in loading door, allowing large shows to load and unload eight trucks simultaneously. Trucks can load and unload unobstructed, directly into the marshalling area at the arena floor's west end. Backstage are three star dressing rooms, two promoter offices (located in the marshalling area), and seven team dressing rooms, as well as a dressing room for officials.


Incorporated into its original design was an area designated for future expansion of the arena. Expansion of the upper bowl would raise the seating capacity of the arena to over 14,000. There are currently no plans to expand the Spokane Arena because there is no current need to do so. Expansion would likely occur only if the city of Spokane was to land a major event, or team that competes in a league that would demand the need to do so.




Spokane Arena, in addition to its duties as being the host of Chiefs and Shock games, also serves as a secondary home for the men's basketball program of Gonzaga Universitymarker for at least one big matchup per year. Historically, the Bulldogs' annual game with local rival Eastern Washington Universitymarker was played here, but the rivalry has gone dormant due to the rise of the Zags' program to major status in the early 2000s. Today, the visiting team at Spokane Arena is generally another national power, such as Memphis in 2007.

It also hosted the Washingtonmarker Class B state high school basketball tournament annually until 2006. The tournament came back to the arena in 2007, but as the Class 2B tournament. The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association had split the B classification into 1B and 2B. The Yakima SunDomemarker in Yakima, Washingtonmarker hosts the 1B tournament.

Notably, this was the reason why the West Coast Conference tournament had never been in Spokane before 2006; the Class B and WCC tournaments clash every year, and Gonzaga's arena at that time was too small to host the WCC tournament. In 2004, Gonzaga opened a new basketball arena, the McCarthey Athletic Centermarker, which enabled it to enter the WCC tournament rotation.

The arena has also hosted several NCAA Division I basketball tournament first- and second-round games for both men and women. In 2008, it was a women's regional site.

Spokane has landed another NCAA Men's basketball first and second round in 2010. It will be the 3rd time in the same decade that the city has catered to this event. (2003 and 2007 being the others.)

Figure Skating

In January 2007, the Spokane Arena was put in the national spotlight once again. It was one of two facilities to host the 2007 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the other being the Group Health Exhibit Hall at the Spokane Convention Centermarker several blocks away. The arena, as well as the city received many rave reviews and also shattered the previous attendance record for the event, previously held by Los Angeles, Californiamarker, by over 30,000 attendees.

On May 5, 2008, it was announced that Spokane would once again host the U.S. Figure Skating Championships leading up to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Spokane Arena will be the sole venue for the 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.


The Spokane Shock, of Arena Football 1, play their home games at the arena.

Ice hockey

The Spokane Chiefs, of the WHL, also play their home games at the arena.

Concerts at Star Theater

The Star Theater is a 5,900-seat theater within Spokane Arena, used for theater concerts, Broadwaymarker and family shows, and other events. Artists such as Metallica, Cher, Shania Twain, The Eagles, Elton John, Destiny's Child, Taylor Swift, Avril Lavigne, Creed, the Dixie Chicks, Beyonce, Dave Matthews Band, Kellie Pickler, and Garth Brooks have performed concerts at the facility.

Other events

Numerous other activities have taken place at the Spokane Arena including circuses, large conferences, monster truck shows, and much more. And every year the arena is home to spokanes' band and strings spectacular featuring the areas band and strings groups grades 5-6 from all schools.

Notable events hosted

  • Gonzaga and Washington State played the first collegiate basketball game on November 24, 1995. Washington State University 67 Gonzaga 62 in overtime.
  • 1995 Boyz II Men
  • 1995 Seattle Sonics
  • 1995 San Jose Sharks vs. Vancouver Canucks (National Hockey League exhibition game)
  • 1996 Bush, Goo Goo Dolls, and No Doubt
  • 1996 Neil Diamond
  • 1996 Ozzy Osbourne, Danzig, Sepultura and Biohazard
  • 1996 Wrangler Prorodeo Classic
  • 1996 Hootie and the Blowfish
  • 1996 Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
  • 1996 U.S.A. Motorsports Spectacular
  • 1996 Discover Card Stars on Ice show
  • 1997 Harlem Globetrotters
  • 1997 Barry Manilow
  • 1997 Western Hockey League All-Star Game
  • 1997 NCAA Volleyball Final Four
  • 1998 Alabama, with Lonestar and Kenny Chesney
  • 1998 Garth Brooks
  • 1998 Discover Stars on Ice
  • 1998 Yanni
  • 1998 Clay Walker along with Diamond Rio and Daryle Singletary
  • 1998 Shania Twain
  • 1998 Memorial Cup
  • 1998 WWF Monday Night Raw
  • 2001 Bob Dylan
  • 2002 2002 Skate America figure skating competition
  • 2003 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
  • 2003 WWE Velocity and WWE Smackdown held two nights after the pay-per-view WrestleMania XIX
  • 2004 WWE Velocity and Smackdown
  • 2004 Shania Twain with Emerson Drive
  • 2007 U.S. Figure Skating Championships
  • 2007 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
  • 2008 ECW and WWE Friday Night SmackDown (both held on same night)
  • 2009 WWE Raw and ECW held one night after the pay-per-view No Way Out.

Notable events to be hosted

External links

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