Inaugural track and field season at “The Podium” will feature collegiate championships, first meeting December 11

Spokane’s new indoor track and athletic facilities will host the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championships in February.

The addition of the event, which has been held at the Dempsey Indoor facility at the University of Washington in Seattle for the past 18 years, will bring together elite track and field athletes from the Big West and West Coast conference. on February 18 and 19, and in 2023 and 2024.

The announcement was made the same day the Spokane Sports Commission received its certificate of occupancy for the $ 53 million facility, which has been under construction for nearly two years, said Eric Sawyer, chief executive of the commission.

“We can tear down the fence and really start planning events from here on out,” Sawyer said.

The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation was founded during the 1992-93 varsity athletics season and organizes competitions in Olympic sports that do not have conference affiliation. Ten teams will participate in the February meeting, including the full teams from Brigham Young University; University of Portland; California State University, Northridge; University of California, Riverside and Long Beach State University.

The women’s teams at the University of San Francisco; University of California, Irvine; University of Hawaii; Cal-State Fullerton and the University of California, Davis, will also compete.

“The MPSF is grateful for this partnership and this shared desire to promote indoor athletics,” said Foti Mellis, executive director of the federation, in a statement Wednesday announcing the event. “We are also looking forward to engaging with the great community of Spokane. “

The 2021 Federation Championship has been canceled due to COVID-19 issues.

This year’s leg of the Federation Championship will not include Pac-12 teams, as has happened in years past, Sawyer said. But the list of winter events includes two meetings hosted by Washington State University.

The building is slated to open with a collegiate gathering, the Spokane Invitational, on December 11. WSU will host the Cougar Classic on January 14 and 15, and a high school invite is scheduled for January 16.

The Greater Northwest Athletic Conference will host the Chickadee Indoor Championships in the building from February 20-22, while the US Indoor Track and Field Championships will be held February 25-27. Organizers predict the competition will bring 400 athletes to Spokane and up to 600 visitors.

The Podium will be able to accommodate more than 4,200 spectators.

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