The Spokane Shock Arena Football team was founded in 2005 by Spokane natives Brady Nelson and Adam Nebeker and began play on March 30th, 2006 as a member of the arenafootball2 League. The Shock play their home games in downtown Spokane at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena in front of their fans the 9th Man Shock Wave the home field called Deaf Valley.
The Shock put together a cinderella inaugural season in 2006, posting a 14–2 regular-season record and a first-place finish in the National Conference Western Division. During the af2 playoffs, the Shock defeated the Bakersfield Blitz and the Arkansas Twisters en route to winning the af2 National Conference championship and a berth in ArenaCup VII against the Green Bay Blizzard in San Juan, Puerto Rico. On August 26, the Shock defeated the Blizzard by a score of 57–34 to win ArenaCup VII. The Spokane Shock became the first expansion team in af2 history to advance to, and win, the ArenaCup.
The Shock led the league in attendance with an average of 10,313 fans per home game.
The Shock won division titles in all four seasons of af2 and the ArenaCup Championship in 2006 and 2009 before they joined the Arena Football League (AFL) in its 2010 relaunch. The Shock won ArenaBowl XXIII in their first season, making them the first arena football franchise to win both the ArenaCup and the ArenaBowl. The Shock defeated the Tampa Bay Storm 69–57 In front of an Arena Bowl record crowd of 11,017.
On July 9, 2011 the Spokane Shock made history by playing the first ever “Indoor Football” game outdoors. The Shock set the record for the largest crowd to witness an arena football game at the Joe Albi Stadium Summer Classic. 16,233 saw the Shock defeat the Utah Blaze 76-49.
The Shock hold a Franchise winning percentage of 73% including a regular season record of 134 – 50 as well as playoff record of 14-6.
Brady Nelson and his partners sold the Spokane Shock to a Seattle businessman named Nader Naini, who subsequently changed the team name and rebranded the team as the Spokane Empire. The Empire played 2 seasons before closing in 2017.
In 2019 an ownership group led by former All Pro Defensive tackle, Super Bowl champ and former Seattle Seahawk 1st round draft pick Sam Adam,s purchased a franchise in the Indoor Football League and acquired the intellectual property of the original Spokane Shock. Soon after Sam invited original founder and owner Brady Nelson to join him as a partner in relaunching the Spokane Shock for the 2020 Season. Sam Adams has previously owned multiple Indoor Football franchises while he was an active player in the NFL over his 14 year career. During his playing career Sam had stops in Baltimore, Seattle, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Oakland and Denver.
The 2020 Shock will attempt to become the first franchise to win titles in their first season in the af2, AFL and now the IFL.