The Spokane City Council indefinitely deferred action on a new cost-sharing agreement with the Hoopfest 3-on-3 basketball tournament Monday night, citing concerns that smaller events may not have access to the same type of deals as the popular annual event.
Addressing fears that Hoopfest could leave downtown Spokane if its costs continued to increase, city staff proposed covering more policing costs than the city had in the past.
City Council President Ben Stuckart said deferring the agreement would mean that the old agreement the city had in place with Hoopfest would still apply. The city would have covered 65% of policing costs under the new deal, instead of 40% under the old deal.
Spokane Hoopfest, which bills itself as the world’s largest 3-on-3 outdoor basketball tournament, takes place this year June 29-30.
Hoopfest is one of three large events the city shares security costs with. Bloomsday and Pig Out in the Park also split costs with the city. Most other events pay the full cost of security and Fire Department medical services. The city also has a few community events, such as the Martin Luther King Jr. Day March, that it doesn’t charge for policing.
Stuckart said he and other council members have been approached by Pig Out in the Park, or smaller events, about cost agreements. Those inquiries prompted Stuckart to seek a new written policy for the city.
City Councilwoman Kate Burke said she was a fan of Hoopfest, but felt the city should have a policy in place for everyone before committing to a new agreement with an event such as Hoopfest.
“We should go back and fix that policy so we’re not giving special handouts to people,” she said. “Or if it looks like we’re giving special handouts to people, we have something at our back, where we can say, ‘this is our policy.’ ”
Every council member except Mike Fagan voted to defer action on a new cost-sharing deal with Hoopfest.
Editor’s note: This article was changed on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 to correct the spelling of the second mention of Ben Stuckart.
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