SPOKANE, Wash. - Some big changes are on the way for Hoopfest this year, with Spokane preparing for the influx of thousands of basketball players just 10 days away.
The biggest change is going to be the location of about 35 courts. Development downtown means those courts are going to be moved on Boone Ave., across from the Spokane Arena. It also means more courts, more teams and the biggest Hoopfest to date.
But the 35 Hoopfest courts that used to be in the parking lot at Bernard St. and W. Main Ave. are now being turned into a hotel, which is why organizers are moving the courts to the corner of Washington St. and Boone Ave. They're calling it the North 60.
"So actually between you and I don't tell anyone it's 63 courts, we're just calling it the North 60 'cause it's easier," said Matt Santangelo Executive Director for Hoopfest.
Santangelo said the move also opens up space for more teams.
"There are 458 total courts which is the most courts we've ever had," said Santangelo.
So there's several reasons why the parking lot on Boone Ave. might be just a little better than the one downtown. The lot has fairly new asphalt that's pretty flat. There's plenty of space for a lot more teams and Nike Center Court is just a walk down the block.
"In reality it's just as close to downtown Spokane as it is in some of the outlying courts," said Randy Smith, site manager for Hoopfest.
Mostly men's teams in the mid 20's age group will use the North 60. The area will also include vendors and other entertainment.
"Lots of music going on. The courts are actually spaced so participants and their families can actually set up tents," said Smith.
Also brand new this year is the Hoopfest mobile app, so finding those 60 new courts should be a breeze. The new app will also make tracking your teams much easier as well.
"We're really excited about the app we think it's going to change the way the event gets delivered to participants and spectators," said Santangelo.