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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 Fairground Recreational Park 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. A total of 10 championship teams, four from the Pacific Coast League and six from the Northwest League, have played there with millions of fans having 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 Bobby Brett and his brothers in 1985. In addition to the many fans who have enjoyed Avista Stadium, numerous Major Leaguers have played in Spokane over the years including All-Star Ian Kinsler, who was one of the first players to be called up to the show under the team's current affiliation with the Texas Rangers.

Indians stars from the past also include Hall of Famers Stan Coveleski, George Kelly, Duke Snyder, Hoyt Wilhelm, Don Sutton, and manager Tommy Lasorda.

Under the guidance of Bobby Brett, 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 Diamond Club, skyboxes, a field level and outfield picnic area, a new press box, and additional Major League style box seats which has helped Avista Stadium to be recognized as "Northwest League Field of the Year" numerous times.

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