State B Tourney boosts Spokane economy

State B Tourney boosts Spokane economy

SPOKANE, Wash. - Each year just over 600 high school athletes travel to Spokane for the State B Basketball Tournament.  That's just a drop in the bucket compared to the parents and fans that travel to Spokane each year to support their kids.

A little over 2,000 parents and fans attend the tournament every year. They're eating at restaurants, staying in hotels, and spending money, all of which provide a boost to the Spokane economy.

Dana Haines speaks for the Spokane Sports Commission. This is their busy season, as the NCAA Tournament, the Pacific Northwest Qualifier, and a few other big events happen later this month.

"We got more than $10 million economic impact, but more importantly we have visitors around the country headed to Spokane for likely the first time and seeing our great city," said Haines.

"That's a real tip to Spokane's hat, too," said State B Tournament Director Bonnie Long. "And of course when they're here they're going to stay somewhere and spend some money."

Long has held her position at the tournament for about six years, but she's been involved for more than 40.

"The basketball atmosphere here is something unique and so I think anybody that hasn't been here needs to experience it once and I think (they) would see how much fun it is," said Long.

The big school tournaments like the 3A and 4A have some amazing competition... but for the small town crowds it's different.

"A lot of our teams don't just bring their moms and dads, they bring their aunts and uncles and cousins and their barbers and bankers," said Long. "It's just like being at home, but instead they are here together at the B tournament and watching the ball game."

There's plenty of action still left to see at the arena. The tournament runs through Saturday. Tickets, schedules, rosters, and other info can be found here.