Spokane Arena celebrates 20 great seasons - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane Arena celebrates 20 great seasons

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Spokane Arena celebrates 20 great seasons Spokane Arena celebrates 20 great seasons
SPOKANE, Wash. -

20 years of great events is really something to celebrate. That statement was said earlier this year by the CEO of Spokane's Public Facilities District. He was talking about the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, which is celebrating its 20 year anniversary this year.

Wrapped in memories of past shows and events on its windows and doors, the Spokane Arena has seen a lot in 20 years. Newcomers may take the Arena for granted, but old-timers know before there was the Arena, there was the Coliseum. In fact, back at the Spokane Coliseum, Cher joked that she'd come back to Spokane "when you build me a new building!" That happened, in 1995.

The new state of the art building replaced the aging Spokane Coliseum, also known as the Boone Street Barn, which had stood for 40 years. Matt Gibson, the general manager of the Spokane Arena says, "I don't think it's boasting to say the Arena is one of the linchpins that catapulted Spokane from the sleepy town that I grew up in to a real player in the tourism industry."

Gibson says in its first 19 years the Arena has seen nearly 14 million guests walk through their doors, thanks to all of the acts the larger venue attracts to the Lilac City. "It's hard to convince someone to bring someone to Spokane," Gibson says, "especially if they can sell out 5 nights in Los Angeles or have a residency in Las Vegas. And I think we get to do it over how we treat people, how we treat the acts that are here."

The Arena is celebrating its anniversary with an amazing lineup that started with Elton John and Blake Shelton. You can see the full lineup here: http://www.spokanearena.com/arenaevents.php

GM Matt Gibson says the 21st season is going to be even better. He wouldn't give any hints, but said if we thought this season was great, next season will blow our minds. Can't wait.

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