‘A dream comes true’: The podium is about to prepare for the Spokane Invitational

November 8, 2021 7:48 PM

Posted on November 8, 2021 7:48 PM

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SPOKANE, Washington – The Podium has been coming to life for a little over two years. Today the 80,000 m² area is almost ready for athletes.

Inside the venue, there is a 200-meter hydraulic track that can go from zero to 12 degrees in just a few minutes.

“There has always been a need for a court and an additional sports facility, but having that thing in the center of downtown is just great,” said Paul Christiansen, Director of Sports.

The sloping track allows runners to make the turn with less effort. This means they have the ability to run faster. The route will also feature high jump, long jump, pole vault and much more. Around 3,000 fans can surround them, with the option of adding more using tilt and roller stands.

Before the athletes reach the track, they enter the practice area. It has a training room, an area for the officials and a warm-up track.

“Here we can build hurdles. We can only use the sprinters to warm up, ”said Christiansen.

There are four 60-meter lanes available for the athletes. Runners don’t have to worry about taking off their shoes either, as the ground is protected against spikes.

The possibilities go beyond the range. Christiansen says the podium can equip nine basketball courts and 16 volleyball courts for events like the Pacific Northwest Qualifier.

“We looked at judo nationals from the United States, karate nationals from the United States, and gymnastics from the United States,” he said. “Sports that need a flat floor.”

You even talked about drone sports.

All of these devices are located on the ground floor. Up on the main level, fans will find three touchscreen monitors.

“We hope that all the records that are set on the track will be carried over to the touchscreen televisions,” said Christiansen.

The ground floor will also have a concession area and breathtaking views of Riverfront Park.

While The Podium is almost ready for athletes, the problem with the supply chain is causing a minor issue.

“Some track equipment is vinyl and there seems to be quite a shortage of vinyl right now, so we’re waiting for some of our high jump and pole vault landing systems,” said Christiansen.

However, everything is on the right track for the Spokane Invitational on the weekend of December 11th.

“We also have the US elite athletics internationals that take place in February and late February, and that will bring some of the former Olympians to town for this event,” Christiansen said.

Most of the events this season will be centered around college events. Christiansen said he hoped to attract more middle and high school athletes next year.

In the future, says Christiansen, they might be able to hold graduation ceremonies and concerts.

“It’s kind of a dream come true,” he said.

In its first year, Christiansen said The Podium is expected to raise $ 33 million in visitor spending.

PHOTOS: An exclusive first look into the completed Podium sports facility

RELATED: “The Podium” is taking shape in downtown Spokane

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