Gonzaga University gear is flying off the shelves in advance of the Final Four game Saturday, even if the shelf is really just a table set up under a tent in a parking lot on a street corner in Spokane.
Make that a lot of street corners in Spokane.
There are at least three tents selling official Zags gear on Hamilton Street near the Gonzaga campus. All were doing a booming business Friday.
And so were other permanent shops in Spokane, from the Gonzaga bookstore, grocery stores, department stores and sporting goods stores like Dick’s; and specialty sports shops, such Sport Town downtown and Just Sports in NorthTown and Valley malls.
Chellsea Williams grabbed a friend and drove to Spokane from Lewiston on Friday with only one mission – buy Gonzaga T-shirts. Fifteen of them.
“We wanted Final Four shirts, and we can’t get them down there,” she said.
Williams is planning a big watch party Saturday and couldn’t order the shirts online because they wouldn’t arrive in time. So she hopped in a car and started driving, ending up at a vendor selling T-shirts at Trent Avenue and Hamilton.
She was eyeing shirts that cost $25 each, but she was hoping to talk the vendor into offering a bulk discount. Either way, she didn’t regret making the trip. “It’s totally worth it,” she said.
Malea Kinerson staffed a tent farther up the road next to Geno’s. She said she’s a longtime Zags fan.
“I’ve been waiting for them to get this far,” she said. “I’m excited. If I’m excited, then that means everyone else should be excited.”
Phil Colwell, who hails from Tennessee, was selling his wares in the parking lot of the Taco Time on Division Street near the NorthTown Mall. “We’ve been pretty much full throttle all day,” he said.
How long he stays there depends on the team. If they win Saturday, Colwell said he’ll have a bunch of shirts to sell featuring the Zags and whoever they will be playing in the final game. And if they win on Monday, he’ll have a bunch of championship T-shirts to sell for a couple days.
He said he thinks there are four or five other companies set up on street corners in town, some with up to six or seven locations. He’s already learned a few things since he arrived in town earlier this week.
“I didn’t know until I got here that it was Gonzaga,” he said. “Everywhere else, it’s Gonzoga.”
Clara Rood was there to add to her Gonzaga T-shirt collection. She already bought one this year that boasted Gonzaga was ranked No. 1 in the nation.
“It’s the Final Four,” she said. “I have to have a Final Four. And if they go all the way, I’ll have to have that. And they’re going all the way. They’re going to take this. I have the faith.”
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