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Spokane reaps benefits of Hoopfest

Spokane reaps benefits of Hoopfest

SPOKANE, Wash. - With around 6,000 teams and 3,000 volunteers, Hoopfest is the biggest three-on-three basketball tournament on earth. And it's just a week away.

Spokanites prepare for the influx of visitors every June. Whether as a player or spectator, Hoopfest is the place to be. More than 200,000 people will be in Spokane, many of them from out of town.

“There's a lot of spending, obviously,” said Eric Sawyer, Spokane Sports Commission. “Millions of dollars being spent in the market each year.”

Not to mention, hungry players and fans, swarming Spokane's restaurants.

With a nation-wide volleyball tournament in March, the Annual Lilac Bloomsday Run in May, and Hoopfest to kick off summer, it's a huge couple of months, every year, for Spokane.

“We can bank on those events as an economic driver in our community absolutely every year,” said Sawyer.

“It means a lot to the restaurant industry obviously, and the hotel industry, but it means a lot to us.”

When the games are over, the economic benefits continue.

So however you Hoopfest, it's supporting Spokane.

“The numbers of over 200,000 people downtown throughout the weekend, I mean I don't know how a community our size can do it, but we do it,” said Sawyer. “It does work, it's amazing.”

It's amazing in part because of all those volunteers that make Hoopfest a resume builder of sorts, as Spokane brands itself as an effective host for other big events.