SPOKANE, Wash. - The Pacific Northwest Qualifier is expected to generate around six million dollars worth of economic activity this year. But, as big as it is, it's actually the smallest event of its kind. Our local sports commission has a plan to change that.
The qualifier lasts two weekends, and in that time 603 volleyball teams come to Spokane with the winner moving on to the U.S.A. Volleyball National Championships.
But it's not just the teams that come to town; it's their families, friends, and fans as well. This year it's grown even more.
But it could get bigger. The Spokane Sports Commission wants to build a new field house downtown to address that problem. Right now the qualifier is so big that it's spilling into the convention center ballroom.
The commission is desperately looking for more space.
"We're trying to find places on top of ice facilities out at Eastern, so we really do need to start thinking about how do we address the growth that this represents but also the growth potential of other events that we are seeing coming to our community," said the Spokane Sports Commission's Eric Sawyer.
Don't let that overshadow the fact that this tournament is a big deal. It means about 12,000 people booked nights in hotel rooms.
Adding more courts means, of course, more teams and more money for businesses in the Lilac City.