Joe Albi Stadium
Joe Albi Stadium is an outdoor athletic stadium in Spokane, Washington. Primarily used for football, it is located in the northwest part of the city, just east of the Spokane River. It opened in 1950 as "Memorial Stadium," with a natural grass field, cinder running track, and a seating capacity of 25,000. In 1962 it was renamed for Joe Albi, a renowned local sports booster. AstroTurf was first installed in 1970, and after several replacements was changed to infilled FieldTurf in 2006. The stadium has a current seating capacity of 28,646, and the playing field runs in the traditional north-south configuration at an elevation of 1890 feet (576 m) above sea level. Over the years it has hosted various events (including Elvis Presley in 1957) and teams, most notably the Washington State Cougars of the Pac-10, who played several games per season at the stadium for more than three decades. On the professional level, the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL played their second preseason game in franchise history at Joe Albi on August 7, 1976, losing 27-16 to the Chicago Bears.

Washington State Cougars
Prior to the mid-1980s, the WSU Cougars played several home games each season at Joe Albi Stadium, usually before classes began in Pullman in late September. During the stadium's first thirty years (1950-80), WSU hosted the Apple Cup at Joe Albi in the even-numbered years (except 1954), rather than on-campus in Pullman. The Cougars won only three of the fifteen Apple Cups played at the Spokane venue (1958, 1968, 1972). The rivalry game returned to Pullman in 1982, where the Cougars have won six of fourteen (1982, 1988, 1992, 1994, 2004, 2008) at Martin Stadium. In 1970 and 1971, the Cougars played their entire home schedule at Joe Albi, after the south grandstand at the wooden Rogers Field stadium on the Pullman campus was damaged by fire in April 1970. The Idaho Vandals played their home games at Rogers Field in 1969 & 1970 (after the fire), as its wooden Neale Stadium in Moscow had been condemned during the summer of 1969. On September 19, 1970, WSU and Idaho met up in their annual " Battle of the Palouse," which became known as the "Displaced Bowl" (since neither team was able to play on their home field), with the Cougars dominating 44-16 at Joe Albi in their only win of the season. Washington State last played regular season football games at Joe Albi Stadium in 1983, when the Cougars defeated both Montana State and UNLV in September. Following the revision of the WSU academic calendar in 1984 (the fall semester starting a month earlier in late August), the Cougars have played all of their eastern Washington home games at Martin Stadium in Pullman. From 2002 to 2009, the Cougars played one "home game" per season across the state in Seattle at the Seahawks' Qwest Field.

Idaho Vandals
The Idaho Vandals played one home game in Joe Albi Stadium in 1971, a 10-0 win over Colorado State on September 25th. UI's new concrete stadium in Moscow was not quite ready and WSU's Rogers Field in Pullman was finally out of service, being transformed into Martin Stadium. The new "Idaho Stadium" opened two weeks later on October 9th, with a 40-3 win over Idaho State. Tartan Turf replaced the natural grass field in 1972, and the stadium was enclosed in late September 1975 to become the Kibbie Dome.

Eastern Washington Eagles
Joe Albi Stadium is an occasional home of the Eastern Washington Eagles of the Big Sky Conference. Through the 2003 season, it was used for the higher-attended EWU home games, primarily against Idaho, Montana, and Montana State. Since the 2004 upgrade of their on-campus stadium, Woodward Field in nearby Cheney, the Eagles have not played at Joe Albi Stadium. Woodward Field was renamed Roos Field in 2010, coinciding with the installation of bright red FieldTurf ("the Inferno") and continuing upgrades.

Current developments
Joe Albi Stadium is used extensively for high school football and marching band competitions. In 2011, professional soccer returned to Spokane with The Spokane Shine calling the stadium home. The former mayor of Spokane, the late Jim West, proposed to sell Joe Albi to a real estate developer interested in demolishing the stadium and turning it into a housing development. After a back and forth struggle, plans to raze the stadium were scrapped. Amid the debate about what to do with the aging stadium, an issue about its artificial turf surfaced. As a result of the turf being beyond its useful life in early 2006 and deemed unsafe, the Spokane Shadow discontinued its usage of Joe Albi Stadium, citing that the playing surface was too dangerous for PDL soccer games. As a consequence, the PDL terminated the Shadow's membership. A short time later, the playing surface dilemma was solved when the Spokane and Mead school districts agreed to share the cost of replacing the tired AstroTurf with infilled FieldTurf, which was installed in August 2006 for under $700,000. The investment by the two school districts ensures that Joe Albi will endure for at least the life of the new FieldTurf, estimated to be about a decade.

Joe Albi Stadium Summer Classic
On July 9, 2011, the stadium will host an outdoor Arena Football game featuring the hometown Spokane Shock. The Shock are the defending AFL champions, coming off a victory in ArenaBowl XXIII.


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