The last weekend of June is a busy weekend here in Spokane. Over 28,000 basketball players converge on 42 blocks downtown to participate in the largest 3-on3 street basketball tournament – the 23rd annual Hoopfest.
This year, my son decided he wanted to be one of those players.
Hoopfest began in 1990 with 2,009 players and 512 teams as a way to raise funds for the Special Olympics. The event is estimated to bring in $38 million to the Spokane economy. Not only does this event benefit the city, it also is committed to supporting local charities such as the Special Olympics, YMCA and YWCA. Hoopfest has also built or renovated over twenty outdoor basketball courts in area neighborhoods so residents have a chance to play basketball all year*.
Besides the 7,000 teams, you can find Elite basketball games and the Marine Air Slam Dunk Contest being played at Nike Center Court. You can also watch high school players show their stuff at the Muscle Milk High School Center Court.
The event isn’t just basketball either. There are many merchandisers who set up booths of all sorts down in Riverfront Park, food vendors from all over, live music and activities for children.
My son is eagerly looking forward to next year when he won’t be a newbie anymore. And while for years I avoided downtown on this particular weekend for years, I look forward to cheering his team on.
Does your city hold any sort of special sports event?
Until next time…