Cross Course Complex
The City in partnership with Spokane Sports is planning a cross course sports complex on 46.13 acres of city-owned park property and 15.98 acres of adjacent Washington State Parks-owned property on the north side of the Spokane River at Flora Road.
Benefits of a premier cross country facility
Cross country, the initial focus of the complex, is a popular running sport with a very low barrier to entry – only a pair of shoes is necessary.
Once constructed, this facility will host middle school, high school, collegiate, post-collegiate and master’s level events for local, regional and national athletes. The course design (planned to support 5K, 6K, 8K and 10K races) would incorporate the site’s natural terrain along the scenic Spokane River. Cross country events begin in September and continue through late November. In the off-season, the complex will support sports clinics and practice opportunities. The facility will also host cyclocross events, a secondary sport in the planning phase, which are held in summer and mid-winter months.
The complex will attract significant visitors, generating tourism for city hotels, restaurants and retail stores. The city will begin construction of the complex in spring 2024 and complete the initial course in August 2025.
Construction of the complex with some onsite amenities is estimated at about $7 million.
The City acquired the 46.13 acres along the north side of the Spokane River at Flora Road in 2020 with the assistance of a Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program $1 million acquisition grant. Construction of a cross course complex will allow the city to meet a key stipulation of the grant – that development at the site occur within five years of acquisition (as required by state Recreation and Conservation Office policy). City staff are working with Washington State Parks to secure access to the state-owned land at the site, allowing for construction of the course along the river.
Amenities for a premier facility
In addition to the course, a premier facility would include a clubhouse, multiple restrooms, a vehicle drop off area, ample parking spaces, a food truck court for concessions, crow’s nest for event announcements, accessibility parking, and other unique amenities. Initially, construction will focus on the course, including design, turf installation, water and sewer facilities, irrigation and parking. Additional amenities will be constructed as they are funded.
Combined, these facilities will enhance Spokane Sports' ability to bid on and secure hosting of NCAA and other high-level competitive events at the facility.
Growing sports tourism
The cross course complex was identified in the city’s Tourism Strategic Plan in August 2023 as the most favorable tourism asset for development in regard to return on investment. The Spokane region has a growing reputation as a sports-minded community with The Podium opening in 2022 and One Spokane Stadium in 2023.
Construction of a premier cross course facility will position the City to benefit from increased sports tourism. Area hotels, restaurants, retail shops and other businesses supported through tourism will see additional business from visiting teams and event attendees. Through independent research and discussion with regional and national coaches as well as sports governing bodies, Spokane Sports has identified 35 unique, competitive events that could be hosted at the cross country complex in Spokane Valley. Projected impacts based on hosting 6–10 events annually are described in the corresponding numbers.
About Spokane Sports
Spokane Sports strives to distinguish the Spokane region as a leader in sports event development, marketing and tourism. The organization takes pride in positively contributing to the prosperity of the region – striving to make a difference and leaving a lasting impact on communities. Through event management, the organization supports athletes, coaches, officials and fans with an unparalleled level of service and expertise.
Spokane Sports has been tasked with providing facility consultation, optimization and technical assistance to city staff and other consultants as they embark on efforts to design and construct a cross country complex at the Flora Park site. Spokane Sports will support the marketing and management of events at the facility after construction. Services provided by the organization include sports event development and recruitment; travel and housing coordination; event promotion, media, and marketing; event logistics and management; financial support and incentives; management of athlete experience; and facility development and advocacy.