SPOKANE, Wash. – Spokane’s soccer team, the Spokane Shadow, announced on Monday that it will suspend operations for the 2006 season because it feels Joe Albi Stadium is “no longer safe for competition”. To make matters worse, the league said on Monday it will pull the franchise from Spokane.
Shadow Chief Executive Officer Bobby Brett said on the team’s website “It is with great regret that we make this announcement. We were not willing to risk injury to our players by playing at Albi, and there is not a suitable alternate site for our home games.”
The announcement comes about a month after the team delivered a report to the City of Spokane saying the field was not fit for use. The study came from BioMechanica, a Portland-based sports turf consulting firm who took a look at the stadium and concluded the facility should be closed to all athletic uses.
The Shadow has a lease with the City to play at Albi through 2011. Last August, the team offered to a $450,000 lease buyout offer, but the City Council tabled the deal in September. Brett says he has not decided what - if any - legal action he may take against the City for alleged breach of the lease contract.