ESPN coming to Hoopfest
SPOKANE, Wash. — Hoopfest is going to be getting some serious attention this year, as ESPN has announced it will be broadcasting live from the event.
Every year during the last weekend of June more than 7,000 teams descend on Spokane to face off on 456 courts spanning 42 city blocks in the largest three on three street basketball tournament in the world and now it appears the worldwide leader in sports finally realized that Hoopfest is kind of a big deal.
Hoopfest executive director Matt Santangelo says they’re still figuring out the details but anticipates ESPN will broadcast their weekend SportsCenter live from downtown.
“There’s so much awesome stories, so much great content, so many great teams, so many great volunteers to be able to highlight during our weekend event, that you think they’ll just kind of mark it and be like OK, that’s part of the annual calendar,” Santangelo said.
So far, the event is about 80 percent full, which means their still time to get in on the action.
“So almost all divisions still have room, so we’ll still take teams here over the next couple of weeks,” Santangelo said.
They also need volunteers, 3,000 of them, ranging from people helping with registration to court monitors.
“There’s a lot of way to be involved but we’re definitely gonna start to see more of a push around trying to get those volunteers in. Like I said without those volunteers this event doesn’t take place,” Santangelo said.
More changes are also in the works for the Friday before the event, including HopFest, a small beer garden featuring local craft brews, and practice courts where teams can hone their skills before the big weekend as well as on-site clinics and competitions.
“Instead of just running in and out of downtown, maybe you hang out for a little bit and kind of enjoy the energy around building towards Hoopfest,” Santangelo said.
And did we mention ESPN is coming?
“If you’re not gonna play this year, I mean you gotta get in this year,” he added.