There is still time to register for Hoopfest, but get your squad together quickly.
While the May 8 deadline for guaranteed entry has passed, executive director Matt Santangelo says that teams that register in next week or two should still be able to participate in the annual 3-on-3 basketball tournament, on a space-available basis. This year’s event takes place June 24-25.
Santangelo also added that the problems that affected participation in the annual Bloomsday run earlier this month have not hampered interest in Hoopfest, and that registrations are roughly equal to a similar time last year, when more than 25,000 players took part in the tournament.
Spokane has suffered a late spring in 2017, which contributed to the balmy Bloomsday weather. While sun is expected in time for Hoopfest, it is possible that players are not frequenting outdoor courts yet and planning for the event.
Additionally, the event has to compete with the popular Paradiso music festival, which is held the same weekend at the Gorge Amphitheater, as well as nearby outdoor races.
Hoopfest has about 2,000 volunteers each year and brings in about $46 million in revenue for Spokane from more than 200,000 spectators, and generates an additional $1-2 million in donations.
The tournament will have a more central feel this year, since construction at Riverfront Park has forced the tournament to move its store, check-in sites and main court.
“A lot of our infrastructure was in the park, and all of that is coming out,” Santangelo said. “We’ll let people know where to go and what those changes are. I think some of those changes are going to be really, really well received. Nike Center Court is coming out into the Bennett Block parking lot, along with our store and Toyota Shootout.
“Those are some significant changes,” he added. “But I think it’s going to create just great energy and vibrancy in the downtown core.”
And those potholes that dot the streets upon which the 450 courts will rest? Well those are features, not bugs.
“We work really hard with the city to go through and patch it all up,” Santangelo said. “But I also think that’s another one of those charming nuances of Hoopfest. That’s the beauty of the street game – you’ve got to play in your environment and you know the team you’re playing is battling the same challenges.”
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