Hoopfest, construction collide downtown

Hoopfest, construction collide downtown

SPOKANE, Wash. - Hoopfest has grown by leaps and bounds over the last 25 years and so has downtown Spokane, and with a new hotel being built in the heart of the city it meant that three dozen basketball courts had to be relocated.

It's not summer in Spokane without construction and Hoopfest, and this weekend they're coming into conflict with each other.

"It will be nice to have a nice community event and no jackhammers," Melissa Opeal at Auntie's Bookstore said.

Aunties at the intersection of Main and Washington right across from the new parking garage and hotel being built downtown, so they're well aware of all the construction going on. It's easy to say they're excited for the new hotel but more excited for the new hotel to be done.

But, for the next two days, the traffic cones and signs will go away, to be replaced by basketball teams and their entourages.

"It will be nice to not have to deal with it for a few days and see the street back open," Opeal said.

Randy Smith with Hoopfest said all the construction equipment will be cleared so people can play ball in the street.

"The construction people will pull the fence to the curb lines in all areas of the hotel so basketball we played around that," Smith explained.

However the courts that used to be in the parking lot that is now a construction zone have moved north of the Spokane River to the parking lot at the corner of Washington and Boone right across from the KXLY Studios.

"I think it's going to be a great place to play, it's flat, there is no potholes, lots of room, people can set up tents, we have food vendors, music," Smith said.

But if you find yourself on a court near Aunties, Opeal said they're stocking up on bathroom supplies and will be selling cookies, water, Gatorade and, of course, books.