October 2, 2016
I was asked to update some charts (this blog is not coming back to life but I may update some additional charts too).
Spokane International Airport and Felts Field Usage Trends
Passenger usage has been a flat line for 30 years. When passenger counts went up from 2003 to 2007, the Airport and local officials said passenger counts were a proxy for the local economy. A larger post on airport trends through 2014, including links to data sources, is here.
The next chart measures take offs and landings at Felts Field.
Data: US Bureau of Transportation Statistics, FAA
Spokane PFD Facilities Trend
Data: Spokane PFD and Community Indicators of Spokane.
Since the economic depression in Spokane, the PFD’s attendance has rebounded but remains below the 2010, 2007 and 2001 peaks. A regression line drawn from 2001 to the present is a slight downwards trend.
Through 2015 end of year:
Reminder: The PFD conducted local economic impact studies for 2007 and 2010 and claimed these two years were representative of every year. 2007 and 2010 are represented by the two large spikes in the orange curve above; history shows they were not representative of the PFD’s normal impact on the Spokane economy.
How Many Events at the Spokane Arena Required the 2012 Seat Expansion?
In 2012, the Spokane PFD went to voters with a campaign to expand the Spokane Arena, saying the NCAA would require 12,000 “sellable” seats to hold future NCAA events at the Arena. The then 12,000 seat arena did not have enough seats to have 12,000 “sellable” seats (many seats are used by media, bands, cheer teams and others and were not “sellable”). The expansion led to a total of 12,638 potential seats in it largest seating configuration.
After the election was held, the NCAA reset the seating requirement down to 10,000 “sellable” seats. The PFD kept this quiet and local media hid this change for months. See NCAA reduces seating requirements; Spokane PFD’s Arena expansion no longer required.
But at least the Arena would have more seats to fill at other events, they said.
How many events in 2015 filled the new seating capacity?
Source: 2015 Year End Report, page 52 (published by the Spokane PFD).
In 2014, a state high school basketball tournament exceeded 13,000 attendance, but this is not individual game attendance for two reasons:
- The maximum seating capacity for the Arena, when configured for basketball, is 12,210. The maximum seating for any configuration is 12,638.
- They combined attendance of multiple games played on the same day at the Arena (which is how the PFD typically presents attendance figures). Old event schedules indicate there were 3 to 8 games played each day of the tournaments. Thus, the Arena did not reach the new full capacity.
Related old posts:
- Spokane Memorial Arena Attendance
- Spokane Public Facilities District (PFD) Attendance Trend Through 2013
- If you like your PFD, you can keep your PFD
- If you want to improve something, measure it
- Spokane Convention Center Expansion by the Numbers
- Did Spokane see a spike in tourism related jobs? (No!)
- Can you spot the Convention Center bump in local employment (No!)
- Spokesman-Review Propaganda about the Convention Center