Spokane! Are you ready to rock?
Well, hang on. Some things need to happen first. Namely, approval from the Spokane Public Schools Board.
You might be saying, but probably not, "I don't need the school board to give me permission to rock, Cory!"
You're right. But if you're looking to attend a revival of 1988's Monsters of Rock at Joe Albi Stadium, then yeah, you need to approval of the board.
Joe Albi Stadium is, of course, on borrowed time. After 70 years of service, countless football games and the site of my early 90s Junior Bloomsday glory (I finished. That was my glory), the stadium will be demolished to make room for a voter-approved new stadium and middle school, but hopefully, not before one final bash from the past.
An ode to the closest thing to Woodstock Spokane has ever seen: The Monsters of Rock Tour in 1988. An event that saw 30,000 fans headbanging to the soothing sounds of Van Halen, The Scorpions and some other band that goes by the name Metallica.
33 years later, before the sun sets on Albi, there's a group hoping to bust out the spandex and hair spray one more time. Ok, maybe not that nostalgic, but at least one more chance to rock.
"It's a nice way to celebrate the end of a 60 year era at Albi and bring back a fun event that the community enjoyed back in 1988," SPS Associate Superintendent Dr. Mark Anderson said on Wednesday. "It'll be a nice way for the end of a long era at Albi."
The school district owns the stadium and the board will have the final say on whether a Monsters of Rock reunion can happen. They did approve a show to take place in 2020, but we all know how that turned out because of COVID.
This year's proposal, being presented Wednesday night at the school board meeting, is similar to the one that gain approval for the 2020 concert.
The concert would happen in late August and go for two days, possibly one depending on how many bands can be booked. Spokane Public Schools would receive $1 for every ticket sold, which is an estimated $25,000 - $50,000 depending on 1 or 2 days). The concert promoter, WestCoast Entertainment, would also cover all costs of putting on the show, including demolition/construction delays, up to $550,000, that would be incurred as a result of putting on the concert and delaying the construction on the new stadium and school.
"We still think we can get the stadium done within a year but also accommodate the increase costs that we'll have," Dr. Anderson said. "We'll be recommending that the board give us direction to move ahead with this."
One major stipulation is the sales of alcohol. Under the proposal, Spokane Public Schools would waive its policy of no alcohol served and consumed at the stadium for the event. The policy was waived for the 2020 concert that never happened.
As for the lineup? Well, again, they need to get approval before rocking like a hurricane, but the whole idea of this even returning one final time was pretty much brought to light by former Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar, so you may see the red rocker return to the Lilac City once again, but so far no acts have been booked.
Even if the board approves the show, will we be allowed to have concerts by August?
"By the end of August, will we be able to gather that many people together at a facility?" Dr. Anderson pondered. "But that's up to the health experts."
If the show is approved, but yet again canceled due to COVID, it will be the last try to get the Monsters of Rock back at Albi as the stadium will be demolished this year to make room for the new one.