Avista Stadium History
Avista Stadium not only is the home of the Spokane Indians, but hosts over 100 events per year!
HISTORY OF AVISTA STADIUM
Seldom have sports facilities constructed as quickly as Avista Stadium lasted so long, or served so many. The stadium, originally called Fairgrounds Recreational Park which is now entering its fifth decade, was built from scratch in less than three months to house the triple-A farm team of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1958. The original cost of the stadium was $534,700. Ten championship teams, four from the Pacific Coast League and six from the Northwest League, have played there. Over six million fans have passed through its gates.
Play began on April 29, 1958 when a standing-room-only crowd of 8,404 fans saw the Indians defeat Seattle 6-5.The stadium was designed to seat 9,000 with a manual scoreboard and a large black and white clock. The field lights came from Gilmore Field in Hollywood. The batting cage came from Ebbetts Field in Brooklyn.
The Indians competed in the Pacific Coast League from 1958 until 1982 (except 1972 when they participated in the Northwest League). Since 1983, the Indians have played in the single-A Northwest League. Spokane's baseball history can be traced back to 1890 when Spokane's entry in the Pacific Northwest League went 61-34 to claim first place.
More recently, the Spokane Indians were purchased by the Brett brothers in 1985. In addition to the many fans who have enjoyed Avista Stadium, numerous Major Leaguers have played in Spokane over the years. Ian Kinsler and Travis Metcalf are the first Spokane Indians to be called up to the show under the team's current affiliation with the Texas Rangers. Dermal Brown, the 1997 NWL MVP with the Indians, had a productive seven-year career with the Kansas City Royals. Major League All-Star Carlos Beltran played for Spokane in 1996, and major leaguers Mike MacDougal, Matt Clement, Jason Simontacchi and Ken Harvey also called the Lilac City home during their minor league journey. Indians stars from the past also include Hall of Famers Stan Coveleski, George Kelly, Duke Snyder, Hoyt Wilhelm, Don Sutton, and manager Tommy Lasorda.
Since the Brett Brothers purchased the team, Spokane County and the Indians have successfully worked together to make the Indians and the stadium an important part of the Spokane community. Since 1985 the stadium has undergone significant improvements including the addition of the Banner Back Diamond Club, skyboxes, a field level and outfield picnic area, a new press box, and additional Major League style box seats. Since 1997, the field at Avista Stadium has been recognized as "Northwest League Field of the Year" an amazing ten times. This only further enhances the established reputation of Avista Stadium as the best stadium in the Northwest.