As Spokane grew in size and importance, it became apparent that the city would need a stadium for local and visiting sports teams as well as traveling music acts.
The decision to build came before there were any funds to pay the contractors. As the Spokesman Review described on opening day, "That's how it was built. First they decided to give Spokane a Stadium, Then they hired a contractor and agreed on the price, then they started out to get the money."
When Spokane Memorial Stadium was opened in 1950, local high schools finally had somewhere to play football and other field sports. Famous musicians had a place to play for large audiences in Spokane.
In 1962, Spokane Memorial Stadium was renamed Joe Albi Stadium to honor local attorney and sports fan Joseph A. Albi who had died that year. A statue built in his honor in 1997 can still be found in the southwest corner of the bleachers. "Joe Fan" is often dressed in school colors for sporting events. Perched on a high band over the Spokane River, the stadium is in its seventh decade of service to Spokane.
Throughout the years, many large events have happened at the stadium. Spokanites were treated to the King when Elvis Presley played there in 1957. Spokane's annual marching band competition, the Sounds of Thunder Pacific Northwest Marching Band Championships is held in the fall at the stadium. It is also home to Spokane's four soccer leagues: The Spiders, the Shadows, the Black Widows, and the Shine. Seven preseason exhibition NFL games have been held at Joe Albi Stadium.
The city of Spokane recently voted to sell Joe Albi Stadium and its surrounding area for housing development. An effort has been made by an organization called the Friends of Joe Albi to raise the funds necessary to keep the stadium open. They are also hoping to make improvements to the stadium such as newer, better quality astroturf and covering the stadium with a dome.